Andrew Mobbs (mobbsy) wrote,
Andrew Mobbs

The Man Who Shot Chinatown: The Life and Work of John A. Alonzo

The Man Who Shot Chinatown: The Life and Work of John A. Alonzo
Directed by Axel Schill

As the title suggests, this was a documentary about cinematographer John Alonzo. The subject serves to provide a more general and very interesting look behind the scenes of making Hollywood movies and particularly the art of the cinematographer. However, as a documentary it had it's weaknesses; it was more of an uncritical accolade to Alonzo's work than any sort of deconstruction of technique. On a more human front while some difficult areas were touched on, such as a long estrangement with his daughters, the details went largely unexplored.

The documentary format was fairly conventional, interviews interspersed with clips from his work and some other relevant pieces. The interviewees were various directors, actors, fellow cinematographers and a very camp key grip and gaffer. There was also the one daughter who he had reconciled with before his death, and his second wife who played an important part in his professional work as well as personal life.

Overall, a fairly average documentary on a reasonable subject, interesting enough to hold my attention and to pique my interest in the less lauded members of film crews, but nothing exceptional.
Tags: cambridgefilmfestival2007

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