Borja López Díaz's Favourite Films



Borja López Díaz is serious. Being Ernest Desumblia’s award-winning DP among other directors, this man knows a thing or two about lighting, movement and how to make something look, simply put, next level incredible. Having just worked with firm Word Is Cheap favourite Ian Pons Jewell (new video out soon!!) we knew the time was right to delve deeper into Borja’s mind and find out the visual journey that pushed him into a career in photography.

You can check out Borja’s own work over on his site.


“Let The Right One In” (2008) directed by Tomas Alfredson

I loved this movie. It breaks several clichés about horror films and creates a very unique mood. It really changed my approach to cinematography and influenced my work a lot. It was released the year after I finished my studies in Sweden and it has always been in my mind since then. Hoyte Van Hoytema’s work is impressive. I discovered a new kind of lighting watching this film.

“Last Days” (2005) directed by Gus Van Sant

Harris Savides is my favorite cinematographer of all time and he is by far my biggest influence. He was able to create an extremely sophisticated atmosphere without flashy tricks. It has an hypnotic effect on me and I cannot stop watching it, it always comes back. The story is simple and it does not have a lot of action but it feels very intense, like the real story is boiling under the skin and not on the surface.

Harris philosophy of “lighting a space and let people inhabit it, rather than light the people” has been my mantra since I discovered him. I had the pleasure to work with his Steadycam operator recently (Matías Mesa) and we discussed Harris work and personality. Matías told me that nobody in the world could say anything bad a about Harris. I got really sad when he died. I really wish he was still alive, filming and adding beauty to the world. A true genius.

“Let’s Get Lost” (1988) directed by Bruce Weber

This is actually a documentary film about Chet Baker by Bruce Weber. It was shot in 16mm black and white. The film exposes the different sides of Chet’s personality in such a poetic way. It is one of the most romantic films I have ever watched and it made me start loving jazz and collecting Chet’s records.

“Human” (2015) directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Another documentary. This one combines all kinds of people discussing the big issues (love, war, children, etc) in front of a black background with impressive images from around the world. Despite the landscape images are astonishing I am not mentioning this film because of its cinematography. I watched its three parts at home, projected in my living room during three consecutive nights. I cried several times, smiled, laughed, felt empathy and love. I would recommend this film to connect to what we are as humans. A really important film to watch at this very moment we are living in.

“Children Of Men” (2006) directed by Alfonso Cuarón

I always liked dystopian stories and this one is one of the best. The human race is no able to have children anymore and existence becomes nonsense. One of the most impressive camera works that I have seen, a true camera operating manual. Its long takes are amazing. I discovered Cuarón and Lubezky with this film and I can just say it is perfect from beginning to end. This film is possibly my biggest influence in terms of colour and camera work. When I first watched I thought: I envy the guys who shot this film so badly!

Word Is Cheap

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