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Emmanuel Lubezki Wins for 'Gravity' at American Society of Cinematographers Awards (FULL LIST OF WINNERS)

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 2, 2014 at 1:43AM

Emmanuel Lubezki (“Gravity”) was the big winner of the night at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards, taking home the Theatrical Release Award. He thanked his “friend and teacher” Alfonso Cuaron in his brief acceptance speech.
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Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone in Gravity
Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone in Gravity

Emmanuel Lubezki (“Gravity”) was the big winner of the night at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards, taking home the Theatrical Release Award. He thanked his “friend and teacher” Alfonso Cuaron in his brief acceptance speech.

Emmanuel Lubezki
Emmanuel Lubezki

Based on crowd reaction, winner Lubezki was the favorite when the Feature Film nominees (seven in total, due to a three-way tie) were announced, along with clips from their films. The selected “Gravity” clip was from inside Sandra Bullock’s helmet, as she somersaults endlessly in space, catching site of Earth and the space station and then losing them again. The impressive list of nominees in the Feature Film category were Bruno Delbonnel (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), 12-time ASC nominee Roger Deakins (“Prisoners”), Phedon Papamichael (“Nebraska”), Barry Ackroyd (“Captain Phillips”), Phillipe Le Sourd (“The Grandmaster”) and Sean Bobbitt (“12 Years a Slave”).

Lubezki has won the ASC Award twice before, for Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" and Cuaron's "Children of Men."

Other highlights of the night included the introduction of the ASC Spotlight Award, honoring cinematography in an arthouse film. “Ida” co-cinematographers Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenezewski deservedly won for their gorgeous black-and-white work (in the 4:3 ratio) in Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski’s tale of a young nun in late 1950s Poland who, about to take her vows, discovers she is of Jewish heritage. Remarkably, the film was Zal’s first feature.

Dean Cundey
Dean Cundey

John Carpenter introduced Lifetime Achievement honoree Dean Cundey. The two have worked on five films together, including “Halloween” and “The Thing.” Carpenter recalled first seeing a student film Cundey shot, and joked: “The film didn’t make any sense, but the images were beautiful. Thus the pattern of Dean’s career was established.” For his part, Cundey gave an eloquent speech that silenced the restless crowd (his pre-announced award came after the ceremony’s two hour mark), where he described his boyhood, when he would religiously buy “American Cinematographer” magazine, then only 50 cents. Cundey also spoke of his gratitude for the “passport of cinematography,” which had allowed him to explore different cultures, both real and imagined. Of Carpenter, Cundey said the director “was the first director I worked with who wanted to use the camera for visual storytelling.” Cundey would go on to work with Robert Zemeckis (for the “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”) and Steven Spielberg (“Jurassic Park”), to name a few.

One of the high points of the show was a hilarious clip reel of cinematographers making cameos in films. The two moments that got the biggest laughs from the crowd were the late Harris Savides, who sticks his hand out from under a stall to ask Michael Douglas for toilet paper in David Fincher's “The Game,” and Rodrigo Prieto, who Jake Gyllenhaal picks up in a back alley in Ang Lee's “Brokeback Mountain.”

Full list of winners, after the jump.

This article is related to: Awards, Awards Season Roundup, Awards, Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity, Gravity


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.