September 4, 2019

Robert Richardson is not only one of the best cinematographers working today, he’s also one of the closest collaborators of one of the best writer-directors in history. Richardson has worked with Quentin Tarantino on five films now, dating back to Kill Bill, but their latest collaboration is one of their most satisfying yet. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place over the course of three days in 1969 and follows the lives of a fading TV actor named Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), his laid-back stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), and shining star Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie)—Rick’s next-door neighbor.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood brings 1969 Los Angeles to life in a way that feels vibrant and vivacious, but it’s also a deeply intimate story of these three characters. Richardson’s cinematography at once evokes the epic promise of Hollywood, but also the personal triumphs—and failures—of those trying to make it. Along the way, Richardson and Tarantino delightfully capture life on a Western TV series set, evoke the spookiness of the Manson Family-filled Spahn Ranch, and go dark for a truly shocking (and ultimately touching) grand finale. The striking nature of images onscreen is a testament to both Richardson’s and Tarantino’s talents, but despite the varying locations and landscapes, all feel like pieces of a whole.

Read more. Interesting interview from his perspective as a cinematographer. He also mentions Brad a few times. Nice read!

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