In the summer of 1923, five lads drove across the country full of optimism, joie de vivre, and the excitement of all things new. It was the only contact I had with what Hollywood [cinematographers] did, and it provided my first visual comprehension [of that world]. All of a sudden a door opened, and a man grabbed me by the shoulders and said, 'Hurry up! The initial pairing of Anthony Mann and John Alton resulted in this classic noir actioner, with a pair of dedicated Treasury agents (Dennis O'Keefe, Alfred Ryder) assigned to infiltrate a … These films were offbeat dramas in which dark and light, good and evil, were touched by the finger of Fate and switched roles. That was the difference between my pictures and some of the others: [in mine], each mood was different. Starring Dennis O'Keefe and Alfred Ryder as agents of the Treasury Department who infiltrate a counterfeiting ring, the film captured a new, post-war realism through its deft compositions, which offered compelling depth and space. Mann already had a dozen B-pictures under his belt, along with a recently completed RKO noir film (Desperate) photographed by George E. Diskant, ASC. Their first title, T-Men, was a crime procedural based on federal records, which the duo rendered in a noir stylization. Matte paintings were used to re-create the Parisian skyline on the Culver City lot. You just pump a lot of light in!' "You, I tell different," she said. Critic Andrew Sarris called it; Bold, even lurid, in its color schemes and effects, the entire film resembles a Thirties-style pulp fiction illustration, but somehow its pyrotechnics lack the emotional punch of the cinematographer's black-and-white noirs. The gangster genre, so popular during the Great Depression, used the underworld to mirror corruption on high. His seminal essay singled out Alton as "the greatest master of noir... an Expressionist cinematographer who could re-light Times Square at noon if necessary." In its pages, Alton maintained that films come in one of three categories: comedy, drama, and mystery. '", [Editor’s Note: You'll learn much more about Alton's work on An American in Paris — and the controversy around the Oscar win he shared with Al Gilks, ASC — here.]. Mar 29, 2015 - Alton had a long and creative career as a cinematographer shooting many different genres and styles. At the event, he summed up his achievements with the wisdom of his 94 years, exclaiming, "I took something, improved it, made something with it and I offered it on a platter for the public to enjoy.". Movies / TV: Suspense-Film Noir: 851968007064 Sale! These widely circulated retrospectives helped increase awareness of Alton nationwide. Mysteries, said Alton, allow a cameraman the chance to eschew "chocolate-covered" lighting and, instead, to light "100 percent naturally." John Alton Film Noir Collection [Blu-ray] UPC. John Alton, whose cinematography helped define film noir and who later shared an Academy Award for ''An American in Paris,'' died on June 2 … Alton also worked extensively with film pioneer Allan Dawn in the 50s, mostly in decidedly B-pictures. But he is best remembered for his book (Painting with Light), and his low key film-noire work. Still, the richest, darkest and best of Alton's 1948 crop is Raw Deal. Alton honed his cinematographic skills shooting Westerns for "Woody" Van Dyke, a man who valued the input of his cameramen and often defended their interests when no one else would. "Mind you, I was fighting for their own good. Alton had never seen such a thing, and was instantly fascinated. While cinematographer John Alton was adept with color photography, he was at his arguable best when using black and white. What do you mean? It was time for me to move on.". Though their attempts to interview him were thwarted (unbeknownst to Alton), the finished film — which included many striking examples of his work — lured the great cameraman out of his long exile. Sometimes Alton would wrap a scene in ebony blackness (as if there were another frame within the frame of the screen) to invest its minimal patches of light with a higher intensity. Votes: 5,074 Precise physical details, essential to any mystery story, also lend to this dramatic conflict. Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward, co-editors of the original Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style, re-team to offer solid observations about the film's place in the noir cycle. Write a Review (0 reviews) Write a review and get bonus points. Alton de-emphasized the human form, making it an element within a mosaic of different visual events. John Alton Film Noir Collection (T-Men / Raw Deal / He Walked by Night) - The ClassicFlix Restorations on Blu-ray https://www.amazon.com/Alton-Collection-T-Men-Walked-Night/dp/B079FLRGN4 Elsewhere, he touched upon Chinese ideograms. The filmmakers planned not only to sing Alton's praises, but to showcase some of his work. The man explained, "These are motion pictures, pictures that move." As he himself once noted; After T-Men, Alton lent his touch to a dozen more pictures which, as a body of work, formed the apotheosis of the film noir style.
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