Darius Khondji found his name on the lists of top cinematographers in the world after his startling work on David Fincher's "Seven" (1995), in which the light almost became more frightening than the d...
Actor Simon Baker has signed on as the face of Givenchy's male fragrance after developing the French fashion label's new advertising campaign. The Devil Wears Prada star dons a sharp navy suit and stands drenched in the pouring rain after handing a damp damsel in distress his umbrella in the upcoming ad for Gentlemen Only, and Baker admits it was a blast seeing his marketing concept come to fruition.
He tells Eonline.com, "I was approached by Givenchy to do it and I had to sort of consider whether or not I was a good fit with Givenchy and they were a good fit with me. I like the idea of the fragrance reintroducing the concept of being gentlemen. I think men have developed enough sort of emotionally and mentally to be able to carry themselves in a way where they put their best foot forward.
"The obvious things (ideas) came to mind.... (like) opening doors, offering a woman an umbrella or a seat on the bus or the subway. The umbrella notion tied into a previous print campaign that they had many years ago in Europe, where there was a woman walking... and a man's... hand sticking out with an umbrella... and you only saw this much (a small portion) of a man. And they said, 'Yeah, we like this too, we'd like to do the flip side of that,' and it sort of went from there.
"Peter Lindbergh directed the commercial and Darius Khondji shot the commercial, so for me it was a pleasure to work with such great craftsmen, such great artists."
It's a big day for indie film appreciation. First, last night's 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards recipients were revealed (you can read the list of winners and nominees here). And now, we can cast our judgments and make our predictions about the announcements for the 27th Annual Independent Spirit Awards nominations.
2011 was no slouch when it comes to the release of some quality independent cinema, and the Spirit Awards are paying tribute to that with its diverse list of nominees. On the list, we have comedy, drama, action, romance...and, for the first time in quite a while, a silent film. Check out the list of nominees below, and start your deliberations on the "Who Should Win" vs. "Who Will Win" battle—that's the bread-and-butter of awards season, after all.
27th ANNUAL INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS NOMINEES
BEST PICTURE50/50 The Artist Beginners The Descendants Drive Take Shelter BEST DIRECTOR Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) Mike Mills (Beginners) Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) Alexander Payne (The Descendants) Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) BEST FIRST FEATURE Mike Cahill, Another Earth Patrick Wang, In the Family J.C Chandor, Margin Call Sean Durkin, Martha Marcy May Marlene Robert Pickering, Natural Selection BEST FEMALE LEAD Lauren Ambrose (Think of Me) Rachael Harris (Natural Selection) Adepero Oduye (Pariah) Elizabeth Olson (Martha Marcy May Marlene) Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) BEST MALE LEAD Demian Bichir (A Better Life) Jean Dujardin (The Artist) Ryan Gosling (Drive) Woody Harrelson (Rampart) Michael Shannon (Take Shelter) BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter) Anjelica Huston (50/50) Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) Harmony Santana (Gun Hill Road) Shailene Woodley (The Departed) BEST SUPPORTING MALE Albert Brooks (Drive) John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene) Christopher Plummer (Beginners) John C. Reilly (Cedar Rapids) Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) BEST SCREENPLAY The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius) Beginners (Mike Mills) The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash) Footnote (Joseph Cedar) Win Win (Tom McCarthy) BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY Mike Cahill & Brit Marling, Another Earth J.C. Chandor, Margin Call Patrick deWitt, Terri Phil Johnston, Cedar Rapids Will Reiser, 50/50 BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Joel Hodge (Bellflower) Benjamin Kasulke (The Off Hours) Darius Khondji (Midnight in Paris) Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist) Jeffrey Waldron (The Dynamiter) BEST DOCUMENTARY An African Election Bill Cunningham New York The Interrupters The Redemption of General Butt Naked We Were Here Spirit Awards
Served as director of photography for Alan Parker on "Evita"; earned a Best Cinematography Oscar nomination
Reteamed with Jeunet on "Alien Resurrection"
Raised in Paris, France
Worked with Bernardo Bertolucci on "Stealing Beauty"
First collaboration with directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, "Delicatessen"
Shot "The Beach"
Breakthrough feature, "Seven", directed by David Fincher
Studied filmmaking at NYU
Collaborated with Roman Polanski on "The Ninth Gate"
Reteamed with Jeunet and Caro on "The City of Lost Children"
First credit as director of photography, "Embrasse-moi", directed by Michele Rosier
Hired as assistant director of photography by Bruno Nuytten
Darius Khondji found his name on the lists of top cinematographers in the world after his startling work on David Fincher's "Seven" (1995), in which the light almost became more frightening than the dark and contrasts were oblique. His range was well-established with "Stealing Beauty" (1996), for director Bernardo Bertolucci, in which the colors had great passion, yet the photography never subsumed the story of a young woman (Liv Tyler) finding romance. Khondji is becoming a director's favorite because he does not allow the visuals to overwhelm the story, rather they get under the skin and into the hearts and minds of the audience to enhance and trigger the emotions. If cinematography can marry story archetypes, Khondji has found a way. His inky shadows touch on emotions, but don't submerge into an atmospheric bog. This was particularly true on "Evita" (1996), in which the lighting was a baroque opera in and of itself, setting Eva Peron as goddess in one sequence, exposing the darkness of her life in another. Rarely had there been such a varied palette within one movie and Khondji's efforts were rewarded with an Oscar nomination.<p>Born in Tehran to a Persian father and an French mother, Khondji was raised in Paris and studied film at New York University. Returning to France, he was hired by cinematographer Bruno Nuytten as an assistant cameraman, and by 1987 had worked his way up to chief operator. In 1988, he made his feature debut as director of photography on "Embrasse-moi" for director Michele Rosier. His work first came to international attention with "Delicatessen" (1991), directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, for whom he also shot "The City of Lost Children" (1995). The latter was about a mad scientist trying to steal the dreams of children, and the film had the feel of the neverworld, the state of semi-consciousness between being awake and being asleep, where light pierces to keep the soul within the body and darkness to let it breathe on its own.
New York University
Darius Khondji on "Evita" to The Hollywood Reporter, May 14, 1996: "I've never been asked to do such completely different work from one scene to the next."
"On most of my films I 'flash' the negative. This involved putting a special box in front of the lens that illuminates it with certain color tones according to the atmosphere I want." --Darius Khondji in Sight and Sound, April 1996.
"In the prehistory of a picture, in that crucial formative period before shooting begins, it is essential for a director of photography to create a total, complete, photographic blackness in his mind. The first thought, the first flutter of reaction to the story establishes itself irretrievably as the aesthetic basis for (that particular) film." --Darius Khondji to Daily Variety, February 23, 1996.