VISIONS OF LIGHT: THE ART OF CINEMATOGRAPHY is the second in a series of projects produced by the American Film Institute intended to introduce the general public to the art of cinematography, highlighting the role of the cinematographer in the film-making process. The film seeks to unveil the anonymity of the cinematographer, without whom motion pictures would literally not be possible, as well as provide an overview of the history of cinematography. This documentary not only reveals glimpses of the past through film clips from 125 feature films, but interviews many cinematographers themselves, providing insight into the obstacles and choices involved in the making of a film. The trends, the styles, the influences, and the development of film as an art form are all treated from the perspective of the people who actually make the films.
VISIONS OF LIGHT will attract primarily the ardent film buff who may recognize many of the names and works of the cinematographers featured. The older black and white films and the people who crafted them make for much more interesting viewing, with the remarkable innovation and improvisation found in the early days of film. The more recent works seem ordinary by comparison.
(B, H) A mixed bag of worldviews with no objectionable elements.