American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 52

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Dark Hospitality

Top: Miss Edwina (Kirsten Dunst) gazes through sheer curtains. Bottom: Cast and crew work
through a scene in the kitchen.

some documents about the condition of
women living in the time of the Civil
War. We looked at the paintings of
Caravaggio and Vermeer. The film is
filled with influences, from Roman
Polanski's Tess [shot by Ghislain
Cloquet, ASC, AFC and Geoffrey
Unsworth, BSC] to Peter Weir's Picnic
at Hanging Rock [shot by Russell Boyd,
ASC, ACS], and as the film's tone
becomes darker and darker, it goes more
for a feeling reminiscent of Hitchcock
or [Charles Laughton's] The Night of the
Hunter [shot by Stanley Cortez, ASC].
52

August 2017

Even in the first scene in the forest
you're thinking Rashomon, and in the
house when they're praying you can
think about Gone With the Wind or The
Leopard. There are a lot of visual inspirations you can interpret [as a filmmaker], but you have to make sure that
you don't disappear, and that the film
stands strongly on its own. Every story
speaks with its own language and grammar, and all our decisions were made
following the essence of the film.
How did you arrive at the decision to shoot on film?
American Cinematographer

Le Sourd: It would have been
easier to shoot with digital, but Sofia
wanted film for its color, the quality of
the skin tones, and the quality of the
blacks. It was never a question. The real
challenge was in seeing how we could
make this new interpretation with the
lenses, processing, negative, framing
and format. It was almost like a new
discovery, because when you come back
to film after spending so much time
shooting digital, there's something very
fresh, something romantic and challenging about shooting a film that's lit
mostly with candlelight. You have to
work with the lab to make sure the
processing is correct. We did a lot of
film-processing tests and lens tests. I
was thinking about highlights, if it
would flare or not, low contrast versus
high contrast, push or pull.
Which lenses did you use?
Le Sourd: Our lenses and camera
came from Panavision, but we used an
Arricam LT because I like the
viewfinder - it was important to be
able to see the light and the focus. As for
the lenses, I wanted to give a texture to
this period, so I tried to find the most
low-contrast lenses with nice texture.
For all the interior and exterior daylight
scenes, I used rehoused Cooke S2
Speed Panchros, and for the interior
night scenes I used Panavision Ultra
Speed and PVintage lenses. They vary
in speed, but they have a quality in the
low light that's very nice. I try to get the
look as dark as possible, to use the low
part of the negative when making an
exposure. Also I used one zoom, a
Panavision Primo 24-275mm [T2.8], in
a long tracking shot when Nicole
Kidman's Miss Martha is searching for
one of the girls outside. The fact that we
used the zoom lens only once makes the
feeling of tension completely different.
What was your T-stop range?
Le Sourd: I shot everything
wide open, interiors and exteriors. I
used the 50mm Ultra Speed often, so I
could go close-up at a T1, which let me
[pull] the negative to give us the most
detail in the shadows in night interiors.
I used Kodak [Vision3] 5219 500T for



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - August 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Intro
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 10
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 12
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 14
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 16
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 20
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 28
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32a
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32b
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32c
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32d
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 56
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American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 80
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