Blade Runner Harrison Ford

Blade Runner named second most influential 'milestone' film by cinematographers

Contributed by
Jan 8, 2019

It has often been said that Blade Runner, Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi epic, was ahead of its time, and today it's proving that again with another accolade, this time from the American Society of Cinematographers. 

The ASC is celebrating its centenntial in 2019, and part of that celebration includes a just-released list of "milestone" films, voted on by ASC members, that moved the craft of cinematography forward through their artistry in the 20th century. 

“I believe that as individuals and also members of the ASC we need to share with the public what influenced and inspired us in our work and our artistry — films we all consider landmarks in our profession,” said ASC member Steven Fierberg (The Affair), who organized the list.

The list features 100 films, with the top 10 arranged by total number of votes and the remaining left unranked to avoid continued deliberation over which achievement is "better" than any other. At the top of the list is David Lean's 1962 historical epic Lawrence of Arabia, shot by Freddie Young, but science fiction and fantasy are also well-represented. Blade Runner, shot by Jordan Cronenweth, is ranked second on the list for its neon-and-rain-drenched visuals that influenced generations of genre filmmakers over the nearly four decades since its release. 

At number nine on the list — behind classics like The Godfather and Citizen Kane — is another of sci-fi's most influential films: 2001: A Space Odyssey, directed by Stanley Kubrick and shot by Geoffrey Unsowrth with "additional photography" by John Alcott. Elsewhere on the list are genre titles you'd expect, like The Wizard of OzDr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BombA Clockwork Orange (Kubrick is very well-represented, and with good reason), The ExorcistClose Encounters of the Third KindAlienThe ShiningBrazil, and The Matrix

You can check out the full list over at the ASC's website

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