December 20, 2019
The renowned cinematographer and the film’s colorist detail how they achieved the unique aesthetic behind the Safdie brother’s latest.
[Note: This article does contain mild spoilers.]
There’s a sequence in Uncut Gems, a Safdie brother’s film starring Adam Sandler as a gambling-addicted New York jewelry store owner named Howard Ratner, that acts as a quintessential teaching moment in how to block the familiar differently.
The scene has Howard rushing out of a nightclub arguing with his girlfriend Julia (Julia Fox) where singer The Weeknd has just performed for a crowd. The mood grows in intensity as they walk down the street before it eventually boils over. The emotion behind the dialog traditionally calls for close-ups, but the Sadfies instead tracked the characters in profile from a distance, as if the camera could be a pedestrian witnessing their argument from across the street.