NICOLAS LOIR’S 5 FAVOURITE FILMS – TEXT LUKE BATHER
French Cinematographer Nicolas Loir is responsible for creating imagery for the likes of Alt+J, Snoop Dogg and Ghostpoet. Simultaneously his work uses bold colours, strong compositions and stark lighting to create very a distinct look that conjures up a fantastic array of cinematic worlds. Having helped Snoop Dog to pick up a VMA for Best Art Direction in ‘So Many Pros’ and more importantly having shot not 1, not 2, but 3 hall of famers, Nicolas is a DP in high demand both at home and overseas.
Surely a man with such an eye for moving image would have a list of his favourite films handy? Well, as a matter of fact he does.
“Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” (1927) directed by F. W. Murnau
My favorite silent movie, and the first film that Murnau shot in the US. It’s also the first academy award for cinematography in 1927.
A very modern film with strong camera moves. I can’t stop watching the long dolly shot in the foggy marsh area where the camera follows the couple. Along with an amazing cinematography, I couldn’t understand how they could achieve this shot on the muddy ground with the heavy cameras that they had at the time.
After some research, I saw that they used cables above the set and suspended the camera platform. I imagine the struggle to set it up.
Each time I have to do a complicated grip rig on a commercial or a music video, I say to my self that it can’t be more complicated than this shot in Sunrise – a feeling that I also have when I watched Soy Cuba. Anything is possible.
“Gerry” (2003) directed by Gus Van Sant
Harris Savides is probably the most inspiring cinematographer for me – pure magic. The naturalism he was going for here is truly a source of inspiration. I admire the way he saw the world and how he translated it onto the screen.
I tend to try for naturalism as much as I can when the movie requires it. I tend to believe that you find naturalism when you pay attention to details. I’m obsessed by the small details on set and I might have become a prop master if I hadn’t chosen the camera department.
“Sombre” (1998) directed by Philippe Gandrieux
You either hate it or love it but you can’t ignore the images. Cyrille de Vignemont, a director I work a lot with, introduced me to the work of Gandrieux for a project and his images in this film are haunting to me – they’re as melancholic as a Friedrich painting.
After watching this film, you always feel that your images are not dark enough and that you have to dive into darkness. It’s a perfect example of cinematography embracing the story, terrific work from cinematographer Sabine Lancelin.
“The New World” (2005) directed by Terrence Malick
No additional lights were used on this film, how inspiring is that?!
Lubezki’s work is truly amazing and his images are lyrical.
I love this movie for the classical love story it depicts. I remember leaving the movie theater after the screening, wandering around for 10 minutes and thinking about what I just saw and then I went back to buy another ticket to watch it again.
The New World and Days of Heaven are two films from Terrence Malick that feel like the best relaxing art pieces.
“Where The Wild Things Are” (2009) directed by Spike Jonze
A shock when I saw it in the theatre and a second shock when I saw the Blu-Ray at home. Everything is perfectly handled from the littlest prop to the make up.
The warm outdoor colors are stunning, loved the book and loved the poetry of the film. After showing E.T to my daughter, this is the next one we’ll watch together.