Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr.

We just got a promo for PT Anderson's 'The Master'. What strikes me most about this movie is the sureness of direction by Anderson and the solid yet dynamic visuals from cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr.

Malaimare handles the camera in an orthodox manner to be sure, but the frame always has some asymmetry not usually found in such an otherwise classic technique. One side or the other is too full or too empty. What you would expect to be centered is not and what should be off the to the side is perhaps nudged too far.

I don't necessarily agree with the approach or even like it but it has a way of locking you into the moment, which may be Malaimare's intent. It accentuates the edge and suspense of Anderson's story, especially I think, the volatile and nebulous performance by Joaquin Phoenix.

Here's an atmospheric short film by Malaimare from his Vimeo page. These shorts can be tedious or pretentious or too conceptual but I was surprised at how the camera makes this one breathe. It gets under your skin. Makes me think Malaimare could direct a good feature some day.

'Take This Lollipop'

Take This Lollipop from mihai malaimare jr on Vimeo.


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