Henri Alekan and the Shifting Technology of Film Lighting

By  · Published on October 12th, 2017

Cinematography owes much to the French master.

Henri Alekan was the cinematographer behind movies like Jean Cocteau’s magical La Belle et la Bête, William Wyler’s Roman Holiday, and Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire. But his book on cinematography is perhaps his greatest legacy.

Des lumières et des ombres has been a biblical tome for those pursuing the “light, camera” with less regard for the “action.” The craft of manipulating light and dark was Alekan’s specialty.

Alex Nevill’s slow-burn, relaxing appreciation of Alekan and his dedication to lighting as a craft is supplemented by speculation about the future of the profession. These questions aren’t just how will cinematography change, but how its artistic ability will be maintained.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).