Content sponsored by Angénieux
The Cannes Film Festival is one of the major temples of world cinema. An 11-day-long celebration where the magic of the silver screen reveals itself in its full power. This year the Festival blew its 75th candles with an incredible edition. And FilmmakersWorld was there for you to unveil its secrets.
Our Cannes experience was in collaboration with Angénieux, manufacturer of the highest quality optics cinema lenses for broadcast and film industries and official partner of the Cannes Film Festival, since 2013.
All the major movies or TV shows that have made history in the past years bring the Angénieux signature, from blockbusters like A Star is a Born and Spider Man, to auteur films such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Little Women, to top-billing series, just to name a couple Game of Thrones and Narcos.
Since the beginning of its partnership with the Festival, Angénieux has created the Pierre Angénieux Tribute, whose recipient is a director of photography who has distinguished himself for his vision and craftsmanship. This year the tribute went to the one and only Darius Khondji, a member of the ASC and the AFC. FilmmakersWorld had the privilege to attend the Masterclass and – hold yourselves! – talk with this incredible artist and human being.
One does not need to be a movie nerd, a film critic or an industry person to have seen one of Darius Khondji’s films: in fact, Darius has DP’d many of the most famous movies of the past two decades. His resume displays an endless list of collaborations with the biggest names of the seventh art – David Fincher, Bernardo Bertolucci, Roman Polanski, Danny Boyle, Woody Allen, Sydney Pollack, Michael Haneke, Wong Kar-wai, James Gray, Bong Joon-ho, Nicolas Winding Refn, the Safdie Brothers, Alejandro González Iñárritu…
Originally from Iran, he considers himself French and American: a mix of cultures that makes his vision and style unique. “My official address is in Paris” he proudly says, then he adds “my visual references are the American painters.”
Artistically, Darius’ visual palette carries this affiliation to such a cultural melting pot. Humanly, his smile shines with serenity, he welcomes the person he talks to. Something that is deeply connected to Mediterranean culture. “I feel Italian sometimes” he confesses and reminisces about the time he directed the photography of Stealing Beauty for the Academy Award winner Bernardo Bertolucci.
He states that as a DoP the most important thing on set is that the director’s vision is respected. Darius considers himself a “technician” like his collaborators, gaffers, electricians, and the whole camera and light department. He adds that the set life is similar to a family, where everyone belongs. In Cannes for the world premiere of James Gray’s Armageddon Time, whose photography he directed, Darius gave us small anticipation of what’s coming ahead, and we could not be more excited to share. A hint? Iñárritu…
Watch our exclusive interview with Darius Khondji curated by Valentino Natale Misino.
Two major events are dedicated to Darius Khondji on the occasion of his Pierre Angénieux Tribute: a Masterclass at the JW Marriott and the award ceremony at the Palais des Festivals (Salle Bunuel).
After a deep look at Uncut Gems by the Safdie brothers, the Masterclass has reviewed Darius’ artistic path and his way of using the optics, specifically the Angénieux ones: “I am very attached to optics. It’s not always rational, more in the realm of inspiration, but it has had enormous importance since the beginning of my work. I am attached to the shape of the camera, its proximity to the body, to the eye.”
After landing in Paris, and camera operating on music videos and commercials, his career as a cinematographer started in the 1990s: two big hits are Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.
He then works with David Fincher on Se7en. This marks the beginning of a long series of Hollywood collaborations. He made five films with Woody Allen, three with James Gray, and two with David Fincher.
A huge lover of the 35 mm film grain, Darius Khondji decided to shoot full digital with Michael Haneke on Amour and Bong Joon-ho’s Okja.
Alongside his movies, Khondji DPs some of the many music videos directed by Chris Cunningham, including Frozen for Madonna, Afrika Shox for Leftfield, and Jay-Z’s Marcy Me music video directed by Joshua and Ben Safdie.
During the Q&A of the Masterclass hosted by Angénieux, Valentino Natale Misino asked a couple of questions. You can find below the video.
The day after, before the Tribute to Darius Khondji, we had the pleasure to participate in another exclusive workshop, hosted by Angénieux and Band PRO Film and Digital Inc. & Jebsen Consumer.
Angenieux Optimo Primes are really incredible! We were able to see a private demo session closely. These lenses represent a long-awaited step in the evolution of professional optics, able to capture that Angenieux look in a complete prime lens set.
Designed to give today’s cinematic artists the freedom to work on the largest possible canvas, Optimo Primes provide full frame 46.5mm image circle coverage with a consistently fast 1.8 T-stop. All focal lengths provide maximum flexibility with fully interchangeable mounts including LPL, XPL, PL, Canon EF, Nikon F, and Panavision XL.
Engineered as smart lenses, Optimo Primes will support both Cooke/I and Arri LDS; and feature common gear size and position across the entire 12-lens set.
Focal lengths for Optimo Primes include 21mm, 28mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm and 135mm for the initial 6-lens production run scheduled for delivery Fall 2020. The complete 12-lens set includes 18mm, 32mm, and 100mm lenses delivering Winter 2020; and 24mm, 60mm and 200mm completing the set in Spring 2021.
The Pierre Angénieux Tribute Ceremony at the Palais des Festivals has coronated Darius Khondji’s celebrations with a gathering of talented people from the world cinema, including the Cannes Film Festival Director Thierry Frémeaux, Cannes winner Best Director Nicolas Winding Refn, international actors such as Guillaume Canet and Amira Casar.
After the red carpet, the iconic montée des marches, and the glamorous cocktail in the chic Campari lounge at the Palais, Angénieux has honored Khondji and his cinematography with a sumptuous dinner at the Marriott Campari beach.
In the tradition of the Pierre Angénieux Tribute, since 2013, the Angénieux Special Encouragement is an award that goes to a new talent in the field of cinematography.
During this exceptional evening, the London-based Dutch filmmaker and photographer Evelin van Rei has received this year’s prize, which consists in using one Angénieux’s cutting-edge lens technology for her future projects.
Check our exclusive interview with Evelin Van Rei curated by Valentino Natale Misino