Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki has done it again–He’s won his second Oscar in two years, this time, for his work on the divisive but widely-admired Birdman. A frequent collaborator of auteurs Terrence Malick and Alfonso Cuarón, Chivo won his first Oscar for 2013’s Gravity, and brought his awe-inspiring single-take methodology back for Birdman.
Though he has contributed strongly to the aesthetic of many major films, backstage at the Oscars following his speech, Chivo stressed that the decision to shoot in one take was Alejandro Iñarritú’s. “At first I told him I wasn’t interested, it sounded like a nightmare! But then he talked about the characters and why it had to be one shot. He captivated me. It was complex and hard; there’s no book on how to do it, but I have to say that the style was because Alejandaro is a strong, curious artist.”
In any case, this is a continuation of a long legacy of work on iconic projects such as Y Tu Mamá También, Meet Joe Black, Children Of Men, and The Tree Of Life.
Next to Gravity, Birdman “was the hardest movie I worked on.” Up next for the revered cinematographer are Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups, co-starring Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling, and Sundance hit Last Days In The Desert, starring Ewan McGregor as Jesus Christ.