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The 75 best looking films ever made

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Professional horse shoe straightener
No. 66
'La Haine' (1995)
Director: Mathieu Kassovitz
DoP.: Pierre Aïm



Some of the images in La Haine are just unforgettable. The fast moving camera zooms, dolly zooms, trickery and character placement are just top notch. La Haine is a powerful social commentary film but also remains one of Pierre Aim's major accomplishments as a cinematographer.

This scene in particular will always remain one of the best recent examples of innovation. It may have been done before, but this is so slick. The Director understandably didn't want the cameraman and camera visible in the mirror - so they just used a body double in the foreground to mimic Vincent Cassel's movements:




Good choice. One of my favorite movies. While it has split diopters, pan and scans and all of the other techniques you mentioned, they're all used meaningfully instead of coming across like style over substance.

I also really like this shot. It says it all without requiring any dialogue:



Oh, and as intense as the Russian roulette scenes are in The Deer Hunter, the one in this movie may have them all beat.
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Professional horse shoe straightener
No. 65
'Birdman' (2014)
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
DoP.: Emmanuel Lubezki


Lubezki's long takes and use of light and colour in this film are a treat. The weaving of the camera through buildings onto stages and up stairs almost makes the viewer dizzy.

The film would be pretty much nothing without a good DoP and some of the set design is also very imaginative.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
I couldn't help but notice that Cruising (1980) has really nice cinematography.



Never seen either The Spirit of the Beehive or Birdman but Hero, Let the Right One In and La Haine are certainly all good choices for a list such as this
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Mumble is awful!



No. 65
'Birdman' (2014)
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
DoP.: Emmanuel Lubezki


Lubezki's long takes and use of light and colour in this film are a treat. The weaving of the camera through buildings onto stages and up stairs almost makes the viewer dizzy.

The film would be pretty much nothing without a good DoP and some of the set design is also very imaginative.
God yes. That movie was... really something. I must disagree on your last point though, I found the film incredibly moving and thematically rich. Just exactly the kind of film I wish was made all the time.



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outrageous film reviewer
fun story:

About 15 years ago I sold a Meters LP on EBay to a guy in Sweden named Hoyte van Hoytema. Let the Right One In came out shortly after, so when I saw the name in the credits it rung a bell. I went back through my sales and found it, and went snooping through his feedback page and all of his other purchases were from camera supply stores. So maybe that's a common name over there, but I've convinced myself I sold to the DP. (I think he bought Fire on the Bayou)

And to stay on topic, he's also done Dunkirk, Ad Astra and Interstellar. Not too shabby.
and the fighter



Professional horse shoe straightener
God yes. That movie was... really something. I must disagree on your last point though, I found the film incredibly moving and thematically rich. Just exactly the kind of film I wish was made all the time.
I can't imagine it having near the same effect though, with out the sometimes claustrophobic cinematography.



Professional horse shoe straightener
No. 64
'Limite' (1931)
Director: Mario Peixoto
DoP.: Edgar Brasil



I saw this film recently and was struck by the incredibly powerful images. Many people dislike the phrase 'ahead of it's time' when dissecting a film, as it does an injustice to the films of the era, but my knowledge of 1930s cinema isn't huge so it really does stand out as being quite advanced and influential. Limite is the only feature by the Brazilian director and author Mário Peixoto, made when he was just 22 years old, and apparently Orson Welles demanded a screening of it when he was in South America making a film that never got finished, such was Limite's cult like status.

It's 90 years old and some of the shots still look gorgeous. The shot on the bottom left here ^ wouldn't look out of place in some modern neo-noir film such as Sin City.

Peixote was inspired to make this film after he saw a picture on a magazine over. It's the story of a man and 2 women recalling their past (told in flashbacks) while they are lost at sea in a small boat. Brilliant use of light, shadows and focus. There appear to be some scenes in the film that have had the original negative reversed to give it that mysterious atmosphere:





The film is on Youtube in full, or you can see some selected scenes here:




I can't imagine it having near the same effect though, with out the sometimes claustrophobic cinematography.
Oh, I agree the cinematography is a big part of it but I don't think the movie is just the cinematography.



A system of cells interlinked
Birdman is fantastic. I tend to think El Chivo is the best guy working today on camera, closely followed by Deakins.
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Professional horse shoe straightener
Birdman is fantastic. I tend to think El Chivo is the best guy working today on camera, closely followed by Deakins.
Chivo is special. His filming of the natural beauty of the planet and it's surroundings is amazing.



Professional horse shoe straightener
No. 63
'Once Upon a Time in the West' (1968)
Director: Sergio Leone
DoP.: Tonino Delli Colli



Leone's Westerns are legendary and you can see why when watching this classic. The facial zooms, shots of the West (and Spain early on in the film) crane shots, angles and so on just make the film that bit more cool.


It's exceptionally stylish and Leone loved to think on his feet - that comes through in the film. There is one shot where a gunman drinks water from his hat that is dripping down from a leaky roof. Leone just had him do it on the spot.


I'm not sure if it's my favourite Western (it's easily in the top 10) but it has to be one of the best shot.




Not seen them all, but those I haven't all pretty much look very fascinating. Most I also already have on my watchlist.

75. The Grand Budapest Hotel // in many ways, for better and for worse, the ultimate Wes Anderson movie. Now, I love the movie, but it also seems to push his style to the absolute breaking point and seeing that his next movie still seems to do the same thing, I'm wondering if he should perhaps reinvent himself a bit now. But nevertheless, Budapest was a beautiful, creative and imaginative piece of work.

73. Lost In Translation // beautiful film in more than one way. But the visual style is certainly a big player in adding to the feel of the film. So the visuals are a very important element to the film for sure...

72. The Master // love, love, love this one and PTA in general. And having both Phoenix and Hoffman is almost too good to be true. I love the look of the film. Captures the time of which the film takes place perfectly.

70. Kill Bill Vol.1 // QT's films are usually very fun on the visuals. And KB: Vol. 1 is probably his most bombastic and stylistic. Lots of fun visuals in here, very well made.

68. Hero // wasn't big on the movie, but the visuals no one can deny. Beautiful.

67. Let the Right One in // loved the film, but don't remember the visuals to blow me away. But if it helps tell the story right, it's of course just as great. It's been very long, so that's probably why.

65. Birdman // there is other works by Lubezki I love more, but there's no doubt that this movie demands a great DP. And it works perfectly for the film with how they approached this story visually.

63. Once Upon a Time in the West // clearly Leone's attempt to make his Magnum Opus. Big, grand and a lot of focus on the aesthetics. Definitely a very, very beautiful film.



Professional horse shoe straightener
Not seen them all, but those I haven't all pretty much look very fascinating. Most I also already have on my watchlist.

75. The Grand Budapest Hotel // in many ways, for better and for worse, the ultimate Wes Anderson movie. Now, I love the movie, but it also seems to push his style to the absolute breaking point and seeing that his next movie still seems to do the same thing, I'm wondering if he should perhaps reinvent himself a bit now. But nevertheless, Budapest was a beautiful, creative and imaginative piece of work.

73. Lost In Translation // beautiful film in more than one way. But the visual style is certainly a big player in adding to the feel of the film. So the visuals are a very important element to the film for sure...

72. The Master // love, love, love this one and PTA in general. And having both Phoenix and Hoffman is almost too good to be true. I love the look of the film. Captures the time of which the film takes place perfectly.

70. Kill Bill Vol.1 // QT's films are usually very fun on the visuals. And KB: Vol. 1 is probably his most bombastic and stylistic. Lots of fun visuals in here, very well made.

68. Hero // wasn't big on the movie, but the visuals no one can deny. Beautiful.

67. Let the Right One in // loved the film, but don't remember the visuals to blow me away. But if it helps tell the story right, it's of course just as great. It's been very long, so that's probably why.

65. Birdman // there is other works by Lubezki I love more, but there's no doubt that this movie demands a great DP. And it works perfectly for the film with how they approached this story visually.

63. Once Upon a Time in the West // clearly Leone's attempt to make his Magnum Opus. Big, grand and a lot of focus on the aesthetics. Definitely a very, very beautiful film.
Good stuff. Totally agree about Lost in Translation and how the visuals compliment the film.



Professional horse shoe straightener
No. 62
'The Double Life of Véronique' (1991)
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
DoP.: Slawomir Idziak



Slawomir Idziak's green colour palette in this film is unforgettable. Presumably the use of lighting and camera lenses is used to make the sky green or a window green or someone's face a certain shade of green. It's remarkable. At one point there's a little beam of light appears in frame as if representing something in the living world.

Kieslowski's film is as spiritual and dreamlike as it is lovely to look at. The beautiful Irene Jacob plays the part so well as we explore themes of duality, existentialism and self reflection (how many window shots??)


The Three Colours Trilogy will probably be what Kieslowski is best remembered for, but I like to think of this as his 4th Colour film. The green one.




A system of cells interlinked
I have never even heard of this Kieslowski film! I own the three colors trilogy, but I must get around to watching this soon. Thanks for the heads up about this one.



Professional horse shoe straightener
I have never even heard of this Kieslowski film! I own the three colors trilogy, but I must get around to watching this soon. Thanks for the heads up about this one.
Kielsowski was on a different planet. Unreal film-maker. Did you know in one scene of Three Colours Blue, we see "blanco" (Spanish for white) on a box. In the next shot, a man in blue passes Julie on her left, and a woman in red passes her on her right - referencing the' Three Colours' trilogy - blue, white, red.

So many hidden things in his films