Lenczewski and Żal on Variety’s 10 Cinematographers to Watch
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The popularity of Ida continues. Ryszard Lenczewski and Łukasz Żal have been chosen for Variety’s Top 10 Cinematographers to Watch. The Ida duo turned heads with their atypical framing.
The striking cinematography in Ida – mostly black and white images in boldly atypical compositions – already took home the Camerimage’s Golden Frog Award and earned the inaugural Spotlight Award from the American Society of Cinematographers. Now, the work of Lenczewski and Żal is appreciated by Variety, who selected the duo for their list of the top 10 cinematographers to watch.
Ida tells the story of a young woman, an orphan brought up by nuns in a convent. Before she decides to take her vows, she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation. Along with her only living relative, Wanda, she goes back to her home town where her loved ones are buried. There, she finds out that her family was Jewish, and that she was baptised as a child to save her from the Holocaust.
We chose black and white and the 1.33 frame because it was evocative of Polish films of that era, the early 1960s. - says Lenczewski. We designed the unusual compositions to make the audience feel uncertain, to watch in a different way. We trust intuition first. Then we come to intellectual thinking, but in the end, we come back to intuition.
Ryszard Lenczewski started the project with director Pawel Pawlikowski, his frequent collaborator, but health problems forced the cinematographer to turn the camera over to his operator, Łukasz Żal.
Both Lenczewski and Żal are graduates of the Polish National Film School. Lenczewski took more than 3,000 photographs during six months of testing and design.
Apart from the Polish duo, the list featured Frankie G. DeMarco, Rob Hardy, Jess Hall and Nathalie Durand, amongst others.
For more information on Ida, see the review by Bartosz Staszczyszyn.
Source: Variety.com, ed. and translated: Katarzyna Maksimiuk, 14.02.2014