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Inspiring Artist of the day - Jack Cardiff

Moira Shearer and Marius Goring in The Red Shoes 1948

I am my father's daughter - he loved movies and the movies he loved I grew up loving too. Movies such as 'The Red shoes', one of his all time favourites, and 'A matter of life and death' which is one of mine.

What do these two films have in common? They were beautifully shot by Jack Cardiff.

Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus 1947

Click on the above image for 'Painting With Light - Jack Cardiff On Black Narcissus' Youtube

Talking about his most famous film 'Black Narcissus'- for which he received an Oscar for the cinamatography - Cardiff said "Vermeer was the sort of painter that I had in mind on Black Narcissus, because the light had to be clear and as simple as possible."

There is a scene that shows the white-walled chapel. Set in the Himalayas with the incessant wind blowing, the chapel bell tolls at the cliff edge, the pink dawn pushes back a green light over the chapel walls... are you hooked?

Go on, go watch it, I'll wait...

Cardiff said the green hue in contrast with the pink was inspired by Van Gogh and that "Any cameraman would get ideas from Van Gogh and moods of light. Light is the principal agent. That should be the same in photography, that the use of light is like a painter — that you use it in a simple form."

Martin Scorsese wrote, that Jack Cardiff taught the camera to be as supple as a painter's brush... now that's some accolade!

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