Further Reading

Almendros, NĂ©stor. A Man with a Camera. Translated by Rachel Phillips Belash. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984.

Murray Pomerance sometimes even lighting by bouncing light with mirrors. When direct studio lighting is reflected off a brilliant surface back onto a subject, the reflected light is softer than the direct light, produces no shadows, and is ideal for giving a gentle filling effect to the scene. The reflector is held by a gaffer under the camera and below the object or person to be lit. The films of Eric Rohmer (b. 1920) are especially noteworthy for the softness, suppleness, and sweetness of the lighting. His Pauline a la plage (Pauline at the Beach, 1983) is a remarkable example of intensive reflected (or bounced) light being used to fill in the available light of the natural exteriors. With reflected light, the skins of the characters, virtually always in bathing suits in this film, take on a soft fruity color.

In film noir and other cinema of the 1940s, cine-matographers very frequently used cookies—pieces of plywood or cardboard cut into specific shapes and held

Nestor Almendros with director Eric Rohmer on the set of The Marquise of O (1976). everett collection.

reproduced by permission.

Nestor Almendros with director Eric Rohmer on the set of The Marquise of O (1976). everett collection.

reproduced by permission.

up by stagehands or mounted onto stands between the key-lights and the scene being filmed. The cookies would create very specifically shaped shadows (for example, tree branches, newel posts, heads, animals, and so on) that could be magnified upon a wall at will depending on the distance between the off-camera cookie and the light striking it. Very fine examples are provided by the west wing bedroom scene in Rebecca (1940), Christopher Cross's attempted hotel-room suicide in Scarlet Street (1945) and Jeff Bailey's (Robert Mitchum) nocturnal visit to Leonard Eels's apartment in Out of the Past (1947). Also used for specific focus and shadowing of light are "goboes" (wooden screens that block light), flags (tiny goboes), teasers (black cloth or wooden flags for blocking backlight), plain and scrim dots and argets (round pieces of card or wood, or gauze), scrims (translucent flags), blades (flags for cutting light into sharp lines), and clips (tiny flags that can be attached to cameras or lights). In flm noir, along with shaped lighting, the cinematographer normally shot with a slightly wide-angle lens in order to distort the scene (in all dimensions) and often used a slightly grainy stock and a low-placed camera tilting upward so that the narrative world would seem to loom precariously above the theater audience.

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