Alfonso Cuarón makes Oscars® history with ROMA
The success of ROMA at the Academy Awards tops an amazing year for the ALEXA 65 format, with other ARRI Rental projects also recognized throughout the awards season.
At the 91st Academy Awards, broadcast live from Hollywood’s Dolby Theater on February 24, 2019, Alfonso Cuarón was presented with Best Director and Best Cinematography Oscar® statuettes for his work on ROMA. The film, set in early 1970s Mexico, additionally took home the award for Best Foreign Language Film. Cuarón is the first person to win the cinematography Oscar® for a film they also directed, let alone also winning Best Director.
ROMA was captured with ARRI Rental’s exclusive ALEXA 65 camera and Prime 65 lenses. During an interview with ARRI Rental, Cuarón commented, “This is a film that is a vision of the present looking at the past, so that is the reason I took the most contemporary tool available, 65 mm, to create photography in black-and-white that is pristine, without any grain, with amazing resolution, great definition of lenses, and to take advantage of the amazing dynamic range.”
Cuarón specifically thanked ARRI in his Oscar® acceptance speech, and also paid homage to his longtime cinematographer Emmanuel ‘Chivo’ Lubezki ASC, AMC, who was originally slated to shoot the film and who encouraged Cuarón to embrace the ALEXA 65 format after using it for portions of THE REVENANT.
“If this film was created by my own memories, the film was crafted through the memories of what the great masters of cinematography have given to us,” Cuarón said to the Academy Awards audience. “It’s well known that in Billy Wilder’s office there was a sign that said, ‘What would Lubitsch have done?’ And for me it was, ‘What would Chivo Lubezki have done?’ So, this is for you too, Chivo.”
ROMA is the first film to be shot primarily in 65 mm and to pick up the Best Cinematography Oscar® since Freddie Young OBE, BSC won for the David Lean movie RYAN’S DAUGHTER in 1970. Interest in the historic and uniquely cinematic 65 mm format is on the up, with ARRI Rental’s ALEXA 65 camera system reinventing it for the digital age and making it accessible to new generations of filmmakers.
In addition to ROMA, which secured three wins from 10 nominations, several other ALEXA 65 films were represented at this year’s Academy Awards. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, shot by Newton Thomas Sigel ASC, had five nominations and won for Best Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, shot by James Laxton, had three nominations and won for Best Supporting Actress. SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, shot by Bradford Young ASC, and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, shot by Trent Opaloch, were both nominated for Best Visual Effects.
The Oscars® for Cuarón and ROMA join an extraordinary list of international awards and accolades garnered by the film. Among them are Best Director, Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language, and Best Screenplay at the Golden Globes; Best Film, Best Film not in the English Language, and Best Cinematography at the BAFTAs; Best International Film at the Independent Spirit Awards; Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film at the DGA Awards; the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival; and Best Cinematography in a Feature Film at the BSC Awards.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY also won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, while IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK won the American Film Institute Movie of the Year Award, as well as Best Feature and Best Director for Barry Jenkins at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Other wins for ARRI Rental productions this awards season include the ASC Award for Episode of a Series for Commercial Television, which went to Jon Joffin ASC for the TWO ZERO ONE episode of BEYOND; the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series, which went to Adam McKay for the CELEBRATION episode of SUCCESSION; and the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Drama, which went to THE AMERICANS.