From ‘Zola’ to ‘The Power of the Dog’: The Cinematography of Ari Wegner

Want to know more modern-day women cinematographers by name? Ari Wegner is a good place to start.
Ari Wegner Cinematography

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that unpacks the cinematographic style of Ari Wegner.

One of the most exciting cinematographers working today, Australian-born Ari Wegner‘s name may sound familiar to you if you tuned in to this year’s Academy Awards race. Her stunning (awards-deserving!) work on Jane Campion’s Western drama The Power of the Dog was nominated for a cinematography Oscar. And in the timeline in my head she won (apologies to real-life winner, Greig Fraser).

That said, even if you’re not familiar with her name, there’s a good chance that if you’ve found your way to this article you’re at the very least familiar with Wegner’s work. Her deft hand and ecclectic style can be found in the claustrophobic frames of  the 2016 film Lady Macbeth; the vivid, giallo indebted vision of Peter Strickland’s In Fabric; the austere landscapes of Van Diemen’s Land in True History of the Kelly Gang, and more recently, the grainy funhouse mirror of Zola.

Like many incredible cinematographers before her, the thread uniting Wegner’s work is an adaptability to suit a film’s visual look to the story it’s trying to tell. As the video essay below testifies, her diverse toolkit and keen ability to shift and accommodate a story’s visual needs make her a cinematographer well-worth knowing. And while she certainly doesn’t need the Academy’s approval (especially with two exciting projects on the horizon — a re-team with director William Oldroyd and A Fantastic Woman‘s Sebastián Lelio), we’d sure like to see Wegner become a household name in the homes of cinephiles.

Watch “Cinematography Style: Ari Wegner”:

Who made this?

This video essay on Ari Wegner’s cinematography is by In Depth Cine, a YouTube account dedicated to providing its audience with practical rundowns and explainers on some of the more technical aspects of movie-making. Gray Kotzé, a documentary DP based in South Africa, is the man behind the channel. You can check out Kotzé’s portfolio on their website here. And you can check out In Depth Cine on YouTube here.

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    Meg Shields: Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).