Thursday, 20 September 2018

Canberra International Film Festival 2018 - Homage to the great Australian Cinematographer Robert Krasker

The forthcoming Canberra International Film Festival will have a special focus on the work of Robert Krasker the first Australian cinematographer to win an Oscar. Three films have been selected to represent the diversity of his work and the quite extraordinary skill he displayed in creating images on both large and small scales.

For more details and tickets on this and the whole program go to

Friday 26 OCTOBER at 7.30pm 
Director: Carol Reed1949, UK 104 mins B&W Classification: PG 
With Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard 
Reed’s masterpiece, and a deservedly celebrated British thriller,THE THIRD MAN won Australian Robert Krasker an Oscar forBest Cinematography. Krasker’s experience in Germanystudying the lighting and photography of the expressionistperiod, allowed him to apply an unforgettably dark andbrooding atmosphere to the shadows, cobble-stone alley-waysand damaged grandeur of war-torn Vienna. The story followsa naïve American pulp-fiction novelist (Joseph Cotton) in his attempts to find an old friend who is now deeply embroiled in the post-war black-market and drug-dealing. Orson Welles revels in his scenes as the menacing Harry Lime, and the entire cast is perfect. With an original screenplay by Graham Greene, and electrifying music on the zither by Anton Karas, the whole film is “a tender/tough classic” (Time Out), which can be re-visited endlessly, especially in this new 4k restoration.
Saturday 27 OCTOBER at 1.30pm
Director: Joseph Losey1960, UK 86 mins B&WClassification: unclassified (CIFF recommends M) 
With Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Margit Saad, Patrick Magee 
Re-building his career after being blacklisted in Hollywoodduring the McCarthy witch-hunts, Joseph Losey found a wealthof support in England. Loser took a commission to make a crime movie
 about an old-fashioned lone-wolf criminal trying to outwit alarge crime syndicate. Losey transformed the project into an
 exercise in existential angst, with the best of collaborators:actor Stanley Baker, hiding his anguish beneath a severe,
 tight-lipped exterior; emerging playwright Alun Owen (his first feature, soon to be followed by A HARD DAY’S NIGHT) who crafted terse, percussive dialogues; and above all, Robert Krasker, whose willingness to play with light and camera angles gave Losey perfect expression for his intense, baroque vision. John Dankworth’s moody jazz score adds to the mix, especially with Cleo Laine singing the haunting, recurring, theme song. 

Sunday 28 OCTOBER at 4.00pm
Director: Anthony Mann1963, USA/Spain 182 mins Colour Classification G 
With Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone, Genevieve Page and Australia’s own Frank Thring 
Described by Martin Scorsese as "one of the greatest epic films
 ever made" this cast-of-thousands big-screen movie depicted
 episodes in the life of the 11th century Spanish hero who fought to defend his country from invading Moors. Krasker shifts effortlessly from his dark b&w thrillers to a rich palette of bold colours, magnificent wide-screen compositions, and a camera that swoops and glides and encircles the characters. The climactic siege of Valencia is one of Krasker’s finest hours, and he thoroughly deserved an award from the British Society of Cinematographers. Director Anthony Mann was best known for his tough gutsy Westerns and is in top form, as is Miklos Rozsa with a full-blooded music score. Of all the epics that Samuel Bronston produced in the 1960s, this one, according to Geoff Andrew in Time Out, was “one of the very finest ... genuinely stirring ... and equally impressive in terms of script (by Philip Yordan) and spectacle.” 

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