The shots are coming

Posted by · 1:05 pm · February 11th, 2011

OMG! OMG! Yes, the top 10 shots column is coming. I have received more comments, Tweets and emails this year regarding this annual staple than anything else…ever.  It’s been maddening, actually, but I’ll take it as a compliment that readers really, really enjoy the list.  So, some news for you…

The shots have been selected and have been ranked accordingly.  I’ve spoken to eight of the 10 DPs and hope to get the other two on the horn early next week.  The first part of the column will hit Tuesday, February 22.  The second part will drop the following day on Wednesday, February 23.  So, mark your calendars.

→ 27 Comments Tags: | Filed in: Daily

27 responses so far

  • 1 2-11-2011 at 1:21 pm

    Marc R. said...

    I laughed out loud at your, “OMG, OMG” but all I can say is, awesome news. How do you think the cinematography this year has compared to years like 2008 and 07, which had some of the same lensers that worked this year.

  • 2 2-11-2011 at 1:22 pm

    Reuben said...

    Yes! I was wondering when you were going to put this up. I’m looking forward to another fantastic list.

  • 3 2-11-2011 at 1:24 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Marc: The cinematography on the whole was pretty solid, but didn’t lend itself easily to specific examples of shots. So the narrowing was a task, to be sure.

  • 4 2-11-2011 at 1:24 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Still, the best year of doing this, for me, was still that first year.

  • 5 2-11-2011 at 2:01 pm

    Hero said...

    *calendar marked*

    I really do look forward to this a lot!

  • 6 2-11-2011 at 2:15 pm

    mede said...

    What are the “DPs”?

    Sorry to be so out to lunch…

  • 7 2-11-2011 at 2:22 pm

    Daniel Crooke said...

    Directors of Photography.

  • 8 2-11-2011 at 2:28 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    It will be a while before we see a year like 2007 again.

    Some note worthy shots off the top of my head…

    Lesley Manville standing alone by the fridge towards the end of Another Year.

    The van falling off the bridge in Inception.

    The parked car at the end of Dogtooth.

    Don’t remember the films well enough to recall anything else. Honestly I don’t know how you make this list without seeing all these films multiple times.

  • 9 2-11-2011 at 2:30 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I tend to keep a mental log when I’m watching films for the first time. But invariably I forget things, or others I thought were great shots don’t really hold up later, etc. It certainly helps having the screeners to go through.

  • 10 2-11-2011 at 2:33 pm

    Gabriel D. said...

    May someone explain me the «shots» and the whole concept please? sorry I don’t understand.

  • 11 2-11-2011 at 2:34 pm

    Kel D said...

    There has to be something from Carlos. That film was beautiful and won a deserved Golden Globe for TV Movie/Mini-Series. That trophy win was the highlight of my awards season so far, other than maybe Jacki Weaver’s critics wins at NBR and LAFCA

  • 12 2-11-2011 at 2:39 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Would you ever consider using a shot from an animated feature? I love a number of shots in How to Train Your Dragon, more cinematic than thematic but still great.

  • 13 2-11-2011 at 2:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I actually refrain from using animated films but that’s not a slight on them or the wonderful work involved, certainly in something like HTTYD.


  • 14 2-11-2011 at 2:51 pm

    Samuel said...

    This is the article I’ve been waiting for since January 1. I reread the others a couple of weeks ago. Glad to see it’s coming soon.

    My picks off the top of my head:

    – The hanging man in True Grit (or LeBeouf’s long range shooting of Ned)

    – The climactic shot of the transformation in Black Swan.

    – The massive zoom out as Aron Ralston yells out from the canyon in 127 Hours.

    – Any of the cathedral shots in I Am Love. The whole sequence, really. Or the whole film.

    – Car crash in Let Me In. They didn’t really nail the finale like the original did.

    – Dickie’s fists while Micky works at the opening of The Fighter.

    Not sure what else, I’d have to give it more thought. If i had to pick the best, it would be the cathedral sequence in I Am Love.

  • 15 2-11-2011 at 3:17 pm

    Tom C. said...

    Nice. Greatly looking forward to this.

    If I was to have one FYC, it would be this shot from “Vincere.”

    I don’t think I’ve seen anything so beautiful all year.

  • 16 2-11-2011 at 3:37 pm

    Marc R. said...

    Regarding 2007, i figured as much. That was a hell of a year for cinematography. Even leaving out the masterful work nominated, that still left Zodiac, Sweeney Todd, Bourne Ultimatum, Michael Clayton etc.

  • 17 2-11-2011 at 4:51 pm

    Ken said...

    My two top shots probably won’t make your list, so I’ll plug them here…the final snow scene in Of Gods and Men and the mountain-top -> sheep zoom in for Sweetgrass.

  • 18 2-11-2011 at 7:51 pm

    Mike_M said...

    Can’t wait…

  • 19 2-11-2011 at 9:21 pm

    yer said...

    I think the list peaked your firs year doing it in 2007 although that may have to do with the quality of available choices. The 08′ list and 09′ were pretty disappointing. I hope you stay away from the fanboy/geek culture which mainly focuses on how cool a shot is as opposed to it’s actually weight in content.

    Also for the the inevitable True Grit I really hope it’s that shot of grown up Mattie’s silhouette as we find out the result of her and Rooster’s run at the end. I think that shot has the potential to be iconic in the lexicon of Coen’s images.

  • 20 2-11-2011 at 9:21 pm

    yer said...


  • 21 2-11-2011 at 9:38 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    I hope you watched “Somewhere.” The cinematography in that one was fairly minimalist bu incredible, I think.

  • 22 2-12-2011 at 12:21 am

    red_wine said...

    I think the thing is, many of the shots have atleast some amount of Post Production done on them, many have some kind of CG in them. Like Enter The Void, which I think is the best shot film of the year, much of it was FX. But there are plenty of films which are still shot mostly “in camera”.

    The most super-naturally beautiful film made this year, one that could fill 10 Columns worth of Beautiful Shots Lists is Uncle Boonmee. But that counts as 2011. That film, just like Syndromes, contains some of the most unforgettable shots in recent memory.

    This year apart from Enter The Void, we also have superbly shot films like I Am Love, The American, Wild Grass, Carlos, Vincere and Mother.

  • 23 2-12-2011 at 4:18 am

    Hero said...

    For everyone guessing what shot Kris might use from True Grit, he already let that slip in his Tech Support interview.

  • 24 2-12-2011 at 7:08 am

    Keil Shults said...

    While not necessarily a special looking shot, I’d say that the final shot of the spinning top in Inception was one of the year’s most indelible images.

  • 25 2-12-2011 at 11:54 am

    Cca said...

    I would a great shot in The Way Back…


    The close up of hands during the burial scene in the desert… I’m not saying which character’s burial it is anyway… Beautiful and strong shot

  • 26 2-13-2011 at 11:18 pm

    Kevin said...

    I’m sure there is a “Shutter Island” shot on here, Kris? ;)

  • 27 2-15-2011 at 4:53 pm

    The Q-Mann said...

    **celebrating wildly while playing Todd Rundgren’s “Bang the Drum All Day”**