When it released late last year here in North America, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman proved to be much, much more than sum of its parts. But one of the integral cogs in the director’s dynamic machine was the cinematography, which helped set the film apart as a truly unique psychological drama.
Whether it was the handheld cameras orbiting around characters as their arguments and spats escalated, or the movie’s wonderfully paced single-take shots, Iñárritu along with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki adopted an atypical approach. And in a recently-released featurette, the pair outlined the method to portraying Riggan’s inherent, pulsating madness.
Birdman was unknown territory. It’s exciting and it gives you energy all day because you have to be incredibly concentrated. And it’s incredible energy for the actors because they know the scene you’re shooting is the scene and there is no coverage.
There was something that we did that nobody has mentioned: the labyrinth of corridors shrink and shrink as the movie progresses and Riggan’s level of stress and insanity grow. We narrow the width of the corridors and the ceilings come closer. We didn’t want to do it in a way that looked too strange but it’s something that you feel.
If nothing else, the footage above undisputedly proves Birdman‘s awards credentials, given that the drama has been nominated for no less the nine Academy gongs including Best Cinematography. It remains to be seen whether the votes will lean in Lubezki’s favor, but given how memorable, intimate and fluid his camerawork proved to be, the DP is already a winner in our eyes.
Birdman swoops onto Blu-Ray and DVD today, February 17. For more on the film, be sure to check out our glowing review.
Source: Indie Wire