Whenever someone mentions the title of a film, one of three things snaps immediately from within our memory: a person in the form of an actor or director, a vaguely remembered plotline, or, most frequently, an image or images from the film’s scenes. I will wager that whenever a film that has had cinematography legend, Vittorio Storaro, as Director of Photography, it will be the visuals that respond first to this mental reflex.
Apocalypse Now, The Last Emperor, Dick Tracy– as you read these titles, pictures instantly burst to mind. Last Tango in Paris, The Sheltering Sky, and The Conformist, already bold projects, are boosted into the stratosphere thanks to the cinematographer who refers to his craft as “painting with light.”
Rather than try and describe in words the ongoing legacy of Vittorio Storaro in honor of his birthday, let’s instead revisit a few of the indelible visual memories he has given us. May there be many, many more to come.