Storaro’s Eye

A companion piece to last year’s study of Japanese fashion designer Kenzo’s hands, this vibrant portrait of Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro shows us how the uncompromising creator views the world around him. With three academy awards under his belt, Storaro has worked with the likes of Francis Ford Coppola on Apocalypse Now and Dario Argento, the director of the original Suspiria, establishing himself as one of modern cinema’s greatest and most revered directors of photography.

As Buenos Aires-based filmmaking collective 1985 explain of their offbeat portrait, “Storaro is a living legend. His work is inspired by the theory of colors of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, focused on the psychological effect of different colors and the way in which these influence the perception of our emotions.” For the award-winning visionary, the roles of light, shadow, and—ultimately—color are essential components in the cinematic process, helping to transform our emotions as waves of light strike our eyes.

As Storaro himself once observed, after years of studying the technology of film, it was an encounter with a painting by Caravaggio—the master of chiaroscuro—that fuelled his understanding of the artistry of composition. When we think of Storaro’s eye, we think of dense, green fog drifting across the Mekong Delta; of a man passing from shadow into a shaft of bright sun; of a helicopter melting into the hot gold of a Vietnamese sunset. Just, don’t forget to blink.


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