Favorite Cinematography

by Drew G. Dellinger

Created 11/13/12

Edit List

More and more I'm able to appreciate a movie for its visual beauty. Here's a list (in no real order) of the films I found to be beautiful...

  • Visually, one of the very best of all time.

  • I've always wanted to road trip across America. This is as close as I'll come to doing it on a motorcycle, however.

  • The snapshot freeze frame scene of Jeanne Moreau might be my single favorite scene in the entire Criterion Collection.

  • Images from these two films are as haunting as any other. They are sure to stick to me forever, if I'm lucky.

  • From the first shot of a lone raven against a white sky to the famous last shot, this movie is...well...beautiful.

  • Every time I see the famous upwards shot through trees and at the sun in countless films since, I smile and think of Kurosawa.

  • For the opening scene of the conversation alone, and so much more. A film that has grown in my mind and hasn't stopped.

  • I absolutely became hypnotized by the documentary style shooting. Notice the surrounding world as it seems to be happening in real time.

  • The editing in this film is unreal. Some of my favorite.

  • Part of me doesn't really believe this was made in 1930. So far ahead of its time. For me it gives L'atalante a serious run for its money.

  • Heartbreakingly beautiful on more levels than any film I can remember. I am in love with this film.

  • The sister walking into the water...the most stunning shot I have ever seen.

  • As a compliment to these films I have a hard time putting into words anything of consequence...three gorgeously humble films that are each well worth your time by themselves. Together, they make one of the more significant and worth while film experiences I have ever had. The opening sequence of the car accident in Blue is perfection.

  • Soaring shots of deserts, half deserted back roads and enormous city skylines all covered in neon light combined with this simple story of family and discovery. Reminded me of my feelings of watching The Spirit of the Beehive for the first time in that I found it so profoundly beautiful in every single way. The cinematography, like everything else in this film, is breathtaking.


  • By David MacDonald
    November 15, 2012
    05:17 PM

    All great, I love Letter Never Sent especially. If you're looking for great cinematography though, I've got some more you can add to your list: Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas The Three Colors Trilogy! The Thin Red Line! Seven Samurai The Magician M Walkabout Chungking Express! In the Mood for Love! Heaven's Gate Just to name a few.
    • By Drew G. Dellinger
      November 17, 2012
      02:38 AM

      Thanks, and thank you for the recommendations...I love The Thin Red Line and Seven Samurai. Saw The Magician the other day and I really liked it. I'll be sure to check out the others...especially excited for Heaven's Gate.
    • By Thomas
      October 19, 2016
      02:00 PM

      Fear and Loathing absolutely. Terry Gilliam is great.
  • By Mark R. Young
    November 18, 2012
    04:20 PM

    Great choices, and there are so many more candidates just from the Criterion Collection alone. For instance, what do you think of Robby Muller's work for Jarmusch and Wenders?
    • By Drew G. Dellinger
      November 18, 2012
      09:20 PM

      As of now I haven't seen the works of either. I have been very close to buying Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire many times though. Which would you recommend to start with?...
  • By Mark R. Young
    November 19, 2012
    12:45 PM

    Either one. They are both quite different films - "Paris, Texas" being a leisurely five-character drama/road trip which takes place in the Southwest and "Wings of Desire" a haunting and whimsical fantasy concerning observing angels in Berlin. "Paris" is from 1984, three years before "Wings," so you could watch them in chronological order to look for signs of Wenders' evolving craft. These two films are also stunning with their cinematography - Muller's bold use of strong color in "Paris" and veteran Henri (Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast") Alekan's finely lit b&w work in "Wings."
    • By Kurt
      November 27, 2012
      10:31 AM

      Don't forget to checkout Jarmusch's Down By Law. Great cinematography from Muller. Nice little list Drew.
  • By D.j. West
    December 02, 2012
    12:22 AM

    No Wes Andreson?
    • By DUDElaundrey
      December 20, 2012
      11:45 AM

      wes anderson? out of the hundreds of wonderful looking movies, wes anderson? haha.. ok
  • By RyanCrowley
    December 08, 2012
    06:52 PM

    Great list! What are your thoughts on Red Desert?
    • By Drew G. Dellinger
      December 12, 2012
      11:32 AM

      Haven't seen it yet, actually. It's on my To Do List though.
    • By Drew G. Dellinger
      December 12, 2013
      09:15 PM

      I finally broke down and blind bought Red Desert. I loved it. Very beautiful film.
  • By Leroy
    December 09, 2012
    01:51 AM

    It's an admirable list, but I'm surprised the work of Sven Nykvist, the longtime cinematographer for Bergman, didn't get a mention. Cries & Whispers has some of the most gorgeously lit scenes ever shot on film.
    • By Drew G. Dellinger
      December 12, 2012
      11:37 AM

      So far, the only Bergman's I've seen are The Seventh Seal, The Magician, and Wild Strawberries. I loved Seal and Strawberries and thought The Magician was very good, so Cries & Whispers is one I definitely have my eye on.
  • By VidArt
    December 11, 2012
    01:07 PM

    What about Solaris?
    • By Drew G. Dellinger
      December 12, 2012
      11:34 AM

      I haven't seen this one yet either. I consider 2001: A Space Odyssey one of the best movies I've ever seen...if not THE finest. So after reading about Solaris it jumped up to about #1 on my To Do List.
  • By Mook
    December 12, 2012
    05:33 PM

    short but sweet, wonderful list.
  • By scottb
    December 19, 2012
    05:35 PM

    You seem to like B&W photography. Have you seen Kubrick's The Killing? A fantastic heist film and I was blown away by the excellent film noir photography!
    • By Drew G. Dellinger
      December 20, 2012
      02:45 PM

      Yes, I have seen it. It was one of the first of the Collection that I bought. I really enjoyed it. Noir is tough to beat, I watched The Naked Kiss for the first time yesterday. That's another really good one.
  • By Rob O'Neill
    December 19, 2013
    11:32 PM

    I would also add Black Narcissus.
  • By Bryce Parish
    February 27, 2014
    12:44 PM

    You should watch Marketa Lazarova, Ivan's Childhood, Andrei Rublev, Persona and Three Colors definitely. Actually, I think Marketa Lazarova is probably the most beautiful film ever made. Loved the list.
    • By Drew G. Dellinger
      February 27, 2014
      02:48 PM

      Thank you. I love the Three Colors Trilogy and have been mulling putting it on the list for a while. I just bought Marketa Lazarova but as of now have yet to see it. The other three have all caught my eye...I hope to get to them soon.
  • By JDHMathews
    August 31, 2015
    07:26 PM

    I would add Black Narcissus and also Wings of Desire. Days of Heaven is on of the most stunning movies to watch though.