October 11, 2012

Harris Savides' San Francisco

Celebrating the cityscapes of the late cinematographer Harris Savides.

Previously: Los Angeles

San Francisco

From Fincher's obsessively dark land of murder and mystery to the scruffy '70s of Harvey Milk's gay rights revolution, San Francisco through the lens of Savides always focuses on the architecture of the city. Bridges, tunnels and windows make mazes for Michael Douglas in The Game; the Bay Area's network of interconnected cities and suburbs make it impossible for the police to track the Zodiac killer, whose knowledge of puzzles and codes is matched by his mastery of urban design and transportation. The story of Milk is the story of San Francisco--the two are inseparable. The life, death, and legacy of a man and a city. 

The Game (David Fincher, 1997)
Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
Milk (Gus Van Sant, 2008)

Harris Savides' Los Angeles

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Harris Savides today at the young age of 55. 

I first took note of Savides' work while watching Somewhere & Greenberg (both 2010) almost back to back in early 2011. Both bring a kind of hazy, wrapped-in-smog kind of indecipherability to L.A. His view of Los Angeles is essentially isolationist: a single palm tree, a single neon sign, a single commuter in impenetrable traffic; a city that utterly lacks connection. 

These films turned out to be near the end of Savides' career, which began in music videos and included lensing for Gus Van Sant, David Fincher, and Sophia Coppola. 

Enjoy these shots from Harris Savides' LOS ANGELES: