Are you a sucker for the Oscars? It’s okay, you can admit it. I am too. Here’s a fun fact: only 270 people attended the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. And there was no surprise factor as the results were revealed months before the ceremony! So, the following year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences kept the results a secret, yet they still sent newspapers a list of winners for publication after the ceremony. Then, in 1940, the Los Angeles Times spoiled the results, which guests could have easily read before arriving to the red carpet. Ever since, the Academy has used sealed envelopes to keep the names of the winners under lockdown.
Anyway, let’s celebrate the art of cinema by going through the last 40 years of Oscar winners for Best Cinematography . The movies are beautifully shot and worth seeing again just to appreciate the art form.
Days Of Heaven (1978) – Nestor Almendros
Nestor Almendros is one of the most valued contemporary cinematographers. Days of Heaven was shot much later in his life and during the production of the film, Nestor was going blind.
Fun fact: John Travolta auditioned for and won the lead role of Bill, but ABC-TV wouldn’t let him allow him out of his contract for his series called Welcome Back, Kotter (1975), and the part was finally given to Richard Gere.
So before each shot, he had his assistant take a picture with a Polaroid camera for him to view it under a high-powered magnifying glass. The movie was also shot almost entirely at “magic hour,” – the hours between day and night (early in the morning and late in the evening).