PRODUC T I ON . THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK
A light on saints and sinners
Blessed with the task of bringing one of the world’s most beloved TV shows to the big screen, Kramer Morgenthau did so with a soft touch, some fitting nods to past gangster films and a wealth of sixties beauty
WORDS. Lee Renwick IMAGES. Warner Bros W hen it aired at the turn of the millennium, The Sopranos changed the way we viewed episodic television forever. By the time it ended, just shy of ten years later, audiences around the world enjoyed more narrative depth, character development and production value than they’d ever seen before. As the final credits rolled, one thing was certain: there will never be another as iconic as Tony Soprano. So, how does a filmmaker go about bringing such a story back to life? Albeit in a different time period, with a different performer – James Gandolfini’s son, no less – and through a different medium. If you were to draw an answer from
Kramer Morgenthau’s approach during the creation of The Many Saints of Newark , it would be, ‘considerately’. “We definitely wanted to pay homage to the original series and give it a cinematic quality at the same time,” Morgenthau explains. “The original series is film-like itself and has beautiful lighting. But the deference we paid was mostly in the visual language of the film, which is to say, minimalist and classical. “There’s not much camera movement and we created a lot of single compositions, which allowed characters to play in the frame for long periods of time. Often, those frames contain an ensemble that becomes an entire figurative horizon to gaze across – just like a painting.
“As the final credits rolled, one thing was certain: there will never be another as iconic as Tony Soprano”
A WORTHY HOMAGE Striving for “logical naturalism”, many interior scenes were lit with powerful, diffused LEDs, pushed through a window as a single, key source
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