Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Amber Wilkinson's film review of Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff
Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff

This absorbing documentary comes bundled with an equally fascinating set of extras, all of which add to the portrait of Jack Cardiff. Several feature footage that was doubtless cut from the finished documentary, presumably for reasons of time, as they certainly don't lack interest. Here, these interviews have been neatly edited into bitesize pieces focusing on different aspects of Cardiff's work. Jack's Actress Portraits, is an extended piece in which he talks director Craig McCall through the various photographs he took of Marilyn Monroe, Sofia Loren and others. Each one comes with an entertaining anecdote, such as the revelation that when Sofia Loren first tried to get a studio contract she was denied it thanks to Errol Flynn.

Jack's Behind-The-Scenes Movies - snippets of which are used in the finished documentary - are presented here as Cardiff watches them simultaneously on television, clearly for the first time in quite a while. Scenes from the sets of African Queen, his unfinished film William Tell and others, play out as he talks about the productions. This extra, though only 10 minutes long, is also very well-edited, with Jack's reaction to the films being captured as well as the 'home videos' themselves.

Copy picture

Cinematographer And Director Relationship is another smart set of interviews, featuring the likes of Richard Fleischer and Alan Parker. All describe the intimate interplay that develops between director and cinematographer, so that working repeatedly with the same person allows "shorthand" to develop. Interestingly, Parker notes that today's "young filmmakers" are often too concerned with technicalities such as which lens was used, when, in his opinion, they should be leaving that to a cinematographer and concentrating on the story.

Working With Three-Strip Technicolor, sees Cardiff give a beginner's guide to the cameras, while both he and others talk about the pros and cons of Technicolor regulation and the days when the cameras were so valuable that cinematographers were expected to take them everywhere with them... even to bed.

Also included is an excellent interview with Craig McCall by film Professor Ian Christie. Those curious to know what the Bolex camera McCall talks about in his exclusive interview with us looks like, can see it here as he talks about the process of making the film and his friendship with Cardiff.

The package is rounded out by a gallery of Jack's delightful photographs of the various actresses, an interesting set of production stills and the theatrical trailer.

The only downside of the disc, which looks and sounds lovely, is that neither the main feature nor any of the extras carry subtitles.

Reviewed on: 29 Jul 2010
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Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff packshot
Documentary about the work of the prolific cinema- tographer/ director. Read our with director Craig McCall.
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Product Code: OPTD 1854

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1

Extras: Interview of Craig McCall by Ian Christie, Jack's Actress Portraits, Jack's Behind-The-Scenes Movies, Cinematographer And Director Relationship, Working With Three-Strip Technicolor, theatrical trailer, photo galleries

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