Wrapping up the year in individual film images
Have you been watching HBO's "True Detective?" Did you catch Sunday night's episode? The entire back half of the show built to an absolutely arresting finale, the fallout of which was ultimately captured in one extended take. Some might dismiss it as a mere stunt, but while I was certainly captivated by it technically, I was also drawn in by how consistent and controlled and drilled-down Matthew McConaughey's performance was throughout the take. Shots like that are a group effort above and below the line, even after being meticulously blocked and lit by the camera department.
It was a bit of serendipitous timing for that episode to hit when it did, given that this annual feature was planned for this week. And the concept of continuous takes — or "oners," as they're called — might have some relevance to today's wrap-up of the best shots of the year, but, well…no spoilers yet. I would, however, like to take a moment to consider the year in cinematography in general, because it was a banner year for the industry's camera wizards.