STUDIES IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Portrait of a cinematographer – Henri Alekan
In the sixth part of the series Portrait of a cinematographer, the author writes about Henri Alekan, the French cinematographer who was director of photography in circa 150 films. First and foremost, Alekan is the master of light who not only demonstrated his poetics of light and shadows in the films The Battle of the Rails (R. Clément, 1945), Beauty and the Beast (J. Cocteau, 1946) and Wings of Desire (W. Wenders, 1987), but also wrote a seminal book about it - Of Lights and Shadows (Des Lumieres et des Ombres). The author analyzes Alekan’s artistic work and his skillfulness, which he could adapt to the script and to different directors, not failing his personal taste marked by subtle use of light and photographic stylization – poetic fantasy, meaningful use of colour and a dynamic camera. As a cinematographer, he has always been on the side of dreams and poetr y, creating a fictitious, yet new, world.