Definition November 2023 - Web


THE AREA FELT FROZEN IN DEATH, LIKE POMPEII – it’s powerfully spiritual ”

S o long as you don’t point your camera at the lighting truck, you immediately have an amazing shot,” smiles DOP Mátyás Erdély. He is recalling his time shooting in the almost alien landscape of Australia’s Winton Wetlands, a unique ecosystem occupying more than 20,000 acres a few hours northeast of Melbourne. This land had once held a man-made lake which, when decommissioned in the 1990s amid environmental concerns, invited the deserts to sweep in. Around 150,000 now-waterless eucalyptus trees were left to perish. Their skeletons rise eerily from the sand, stretching in all directions. It was here that director Garth Davis elected to shoot his most recent film, Foe , an adaptation of the best- selling novel by Iain Reid. “The area felt frozen in death, like Pompeii,” says Davis, whose directorial feature debut, Lion , was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture. “It’s powerfully spiritual.” This powerful location is integral to Foe’s story, tone and design, prompting Davis to seek out a director of photography who would relish shooting in such an unforgiving environment. He had chosen to work with Greig Fraser, who scooped an Oscar last year for his work on Dune , but when scheduling conflicts arose, he turned to Erdély, the Hungarian cinematographer who shot the Academy Award-winning Son of Saul . “The wetlands are a real gift,” continues Erdély. “You look at them and they are just unreal. And the natural

DARK DAYS Saiorse Ronan and Paul Mescal star in this dystopian drama – which is receiving praise for its visuals the not-too-distant future to life in a mesmerising manner. Here, Hen’s life is laced with melancholia, the farmhouse wrapping around her; a suffocating shawl that lays heavy on her otherwise light and creative spirit. Whatever the overriding critical opinions of the film, none deny that Ronan’s performance is exquisite. The lighting is amazingly intense. The idea was to create a contrast between this claustrophobic house and this amazing dying landscape.” The “claustrophobic house” is a farmstead, which the production built out in the wetlands, and later recreated in the studio. It is home to a couple called Hen (Saoirse Ronan) and Junior (Paul Mescal), who live a few decades in the future, struggling in a world beset by severe drought. Stubbornly holding out at their dustbowl farm, which is set somewhere in a decaying American Midwest, the couple work dead-end jobs by day and limp through their fractured relationship by night. When an uninvited stranger (Aaron Pierre) shows up at their door with a startling proposal, the stitching of their life together begins to unravel further, the story unfolding as an intense three- hander that raises questions about the nature of humanity, as well as AI, bringing



Powered by