American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 53

Unit photography by Wilson Webb, courtesy of The Weinstein Co. Additional photos by Ed Lachman, ASC.

Department-store
clerk Therese
(Rooney Mara,
opposite) falls for
the title character
(Cate Blanchett,
this page, top), an
unhappily married
older woman, in
the 1940s-era
melodrama Carol.
Below:
Cinematographer
Ed Lachman, ASC
lines up the
production's
Arriflex 416
camera.

S

hot by Ed Lachman, ASC and
directed by Todd Haynes, Carol is
adapted from Patricia Highsmith's
novel The Price of Salt, which was
written in 1949 - under the pseudonym Clare Morgan - and published in
1952. Highsmith's reputation is largely
based on her crime fiction, and at first
glance, Carol seems to break with that
tradition.
"To me, it does line up with all of
her classic work because the traditional
Highsmith stories - Strangers on a
Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley -
[go inside] the subjectivity of the criminal mind," writes Haynes in an interview with Lachman, who in turn points
out that "Carol is still a crime [story].
The crime is their love for each other."
Carol 's setting is New York in the
late 1940s. The winter holidays are
coming, and a young, introverted
department-store employee named
Therese (played by Rooney Mara) is
smitten with an unhappily married
older woman, the eponymous Carol
(Cate Blanchett). They become
emotionally involved, but with Carol's
husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) determined to save his marriage at any cost,
the two women are forced to take their
love on the lam.

Carol is Lachman's fourth collaboration with Haynes, after two features -
Far From Heaven (AC Dec. '02) and I'm
Not There (AC Nov. '07) - and the
HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce (AC
April '11). "Todd is highly visual, though
our conversations are usually more about
the approach to the image, rather than
what the image will be, finding it
[instead] on the set," says Lachman. A
deep trust has developed between the
director and cinematographer over the
course of their 13-year collaboration.
"Even when we disagree, the result is
something better than what either of us
had first conceived," Lachman adds.
Lachman and Haynes began to
www.theasc.com

visualize Carol by studying the works of
past masters of melodrama, such as
George Stevens' A Place in the Sun
(photographed by William C. Mellor,
ASC), for its strong narrative language
and use of point of view, and
Michelangelo Antonioni's La Notte and
L'Eclisse (both photographed by Gianni
Di Venanzo), for their use of abstraction
and spatial relationships to enter the
characters' minds.
Like Far From Heaven, Carol
references life in mid-20th-century
America, but with their latest collaboration, the filmmakers made a deliberate
choice to avoid referencing the highgloss studio melodramas of the late '50s.
December 2015

53


http://www.theasc.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 9
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 12
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 18
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 29
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 53
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 112
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover4
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