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Emmanuel Lubezki Takes Top American Society of Cinematographers Honors for ‘The Revenant’

Emmanuel Lubezki Takes Top American Society of Cinematographers Honors for 'The Revenant'

Cinematographer Emmanuel (“Chivo”) Lubezki continued his remarkable roll Sunday night. After taking BAFTA honors for “The Revenant,” he became the first ASC member to win five awards with the metaphysical wilderness adventure (surpassing the late Conrad Hall), and three consecutively. He previously won for “Birdman,” “Gravity,” “Tree of Life,” and “Children of Men.”

READ MORE: “Inside the BAFTA Awards”

Lubezki’s now poised to become the first in his craft to do the consecutive Oscar hat-trick (he’s currently tied with Leon Shamroy, Winton Hoch, and John Toll, who received the ASC’s Lifetime Achievement Award). He thanked director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (who made history last weekend by snatching his second consecutive DGA award) for his passion and energy.

Lubezki recently told me that making “The Revenant” changed his life and is the most immersive movie he’s ever shot, combing brutality and beauty. And he couldn’t have accomplished it without using the Alexa 65, the first large-format digital camera that he’s liked.

READ MORE: “How ‘The Revenant’ Changed Emmanuel Lubezki’s Life”

Speaking of Toll, he earned consecutive Oscars for “Legends of the Fall” and “Braveheart” (where he met his wife, Oscar-winning makeup artist Lois Burwell, who presented him with this “Valentine”). Burwell said it best in describing Toll’s fearless instinct for being new and unfashionable.

Ridley Scott was presented with  the Board of Governors Award (accepted on his behalf by Geena Davis, who was thrilled to go over a cliff for the fearless director in “Thelma & Louise”). Lowell Peterson won the Career Achievement in Television Award (“Desperate Housewives,” “Jane the Virgin”), and Bill Bennett (“The Car Guy”) earned the Presidents Award for his impressive commercial credits.

Other ASC winners included: Pieree Gill for “Casanova Pilot” (TV movie/miniseries/pilot), Vanja Cernjul for “Marco Polo” (episodic series), and Adam Arkapaw (“Macbeth”) and Matyas Erdely (“Son of Saul”), who tied for indie Spotlight honors. Erderly proudly shot on film, “the most immersive experience.” 

The ASC Bud Stone Award of Distinction was given to Grover Crisp, EVP of asset management, film restoration,and digital mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment ( “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Taxi Driver”).

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Whoa, Vince. The "no lighting" style isn’t the current standard, it’s a gimmick. You may be confusing cinematography with art direction. Carol’s cinematography didn’t impress me much. While I didn’t connect emotionally with The Revenant, I had to admit that the cinematography was extraordinary, and that’s what it takes to win awards, not money. The Hateful Eight also had stunning cinematography, and I thought even Brooklyn’s was better than Carol. Unfortunately, Carol promised more than it delivered on every front. It was difficult to connect with the characters, there was too much staring at each other and not enough dialog, and at the end of the day, not really special enough in any way. I’m not even sure whey it’s getting nominations when there were far more worthy films that were totally snubbed.


Meanwhile, Ed Lachman made a better picture for his work on Carol, but since its not a $100mil film and isn’t trendy in its "no lighting" style that Chivo has helped turn into the current "standard", Ed doesn’t win. What a world.

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