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Scorsese’s Two Ten Best Lists for Use of Light & Color, From ‘Vertigo’ to ‘In the Mood For Love’

Scorsese's Two Ten Best Lists for Use of Light & Color, From 'Vertigo' to 'In the Mood For Love'

From the internet archives, check out two Ten Best lists from Martin Scorsese, which he did as a promo with Philips Electronics several years ago, via DVDtalk. The two lists are of films (one for domestic, another international) chosen for their use of light and color. Included are four films from the ’40s, eight from the ’50s, four from the ’60s, two from the ’70s, one from the ’80s and only one from this century – Wang Kar-Wai’s 2000 “In the Mood For Love.” Trailers for “Mood” and 1943’s “Phantom of the Opera” (the oldest on the lists) below.

How many have you seen?

English Language Films (in alphabetical order)
    •    Barry Lyndon (1975, Dir. Stanley Kubrick; Cin. John Alcott)
    •    Duel in the Sun (1946, Dir. King Vidor; Cin. Lee Garmes, Ray Rennahan, Hal Rosson)
    •    Invaders From Mars (1953, Dir. William Cameron Menzies; Cin. John F. Seitz)
    •    Leave Her to Heaven (1946, Dir. John M. Stahl; Cin. Leon Shamroy)
    •    Moby Dick (1956, Dir. John Huston; Cin. Oswald Morris)
    •    Phantom of the Opera (1943, Dir. Arthur Lubin; Cin. W. Howard Greene, Hal Mohr)
    •    The Red Shoes (1948, Dir. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger; Cin. Jack Cardiff)
    •    The Searchers (1956, Dir. John Ford; Cin. Winton C. Hoch)
    •    Singin’ in the Rain (1952, Dir. Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly; Cin. Harold Rosson)
    •    Vertigo (1958, Dir. Alfred Hitchcock; Cin. Robert Burks)

International Films (in alphabetical order)
    •    Contempt (1963, Dir. Jean-Luc Godard; Cin. Raoul Coutard; France/Italy)
    •    Cries and Whispers (1972, Dir. Ingmar Bergman; Cin. Sven Nykvist; Sweden)
    •    Gate of Hell (1953, Dir. Teinosuke Kinugasa; Cin. Kohei Sugiyama; Japan)
    •    In the Mood For Love (2000, Dir. Wong Kar-Wai; Cin. Christopher Doyle, Mark Lee Ping-bin; Hong Kong)
    •    The Last Emperor (1987, Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci; Cin. Vittorio Storaro; Italy/United Kingdom/China/Hong Kong)
    •    Red Desert (1964, Dir. Michelangelo Antonioni; Cin. Carlo Di Palma; France/Italy)
    •    The River (1951, Dir. Jean Renoir; Cin. Claude Renoir; India/France/United States)
    •    Satyricon (1969, Dir. Federico Fellini; Cin. Giuseppe Rotunno; Italy/France)
    •    Senso (1954, Dir. Luchino Visconti; Cin. G.R. Aldo, Robert Krasker, Giuseppe Rotunno; Italy)
    •    Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964, Dir. Sergei Paradjanov; Cin. Viktor Bestayev, Yuri Ilyenko; Russia/Ukraine)

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Raise the Red Lantern?????

Anne Thompson

Well, I have to admit I have not seen "Invaders from Mars," "Leave Her to Heaven," "Gate of Hell," "Senso," and "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors," so I also have some catching up to do.


I'm ashamed to admit there are four on the International list I still haven't seen: CRIES AND WHISPERS, RED DESERT, THE RIVER and SATYRICON. (I do have THE RIVER on tape, though.)

Those are good lists and I'm having trouble thinking of major omissions. I would probably add one or two Miyazaki animated films: MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988) and PRINCESS MONONOKE (1997).


Oops! Light definitely color not so much (it's B&W) I'd substitute "Death in Venice" Visconti


I would include in foreign: "Woman in the Dunes" Teshigahara


Good list, but I would also include The Wizard of Oz.

Casey Fiore

That picture of Zhang Ziyi is from 2046 not In the Mood For Love

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