largely natural light (“Sermon on the Mount” scene, Franco Zeffirelli)

A 3-minute snippet  from the nine-hour  film “Jesus of Nazareth” of Franco Zeffirelli, excerpted here for review purposes.

(background photo here:  original, unretouched shot by Myra Lambino-Ramos)

My tiny, amateur review of just one aspect of this scene, sermon on the mount in “Jesus of Nazareth” (Zeffirelli, 1977). 

Here, apparently, the filmmaker used largely natural light. It wasn’t  very sunny and  looked like it was shot early morning or late afternoon of that day, a balmy one;  the sky,  almost colorless. 1photobymarichu

a  james-cameron-today would have retouched all of it with a computer-generated sky, playing  with a splash of  pinks, yellows, oranges.

But even if the technology were available at that time, i don’t think the filmmaker would have  messed around with the colors that much – because  he did not want to distract.  The scene plays on the expressions on the faces of the characters,  softly panned by the camera, to drive home the point, rather than trying to dazzle with a kaleidoscope of hues  or of  fantastic shots of boulders and cliffs.

In my opinion, the best-lit sermon-on-the-mount scene.

Very lean, very minimalist, very gentle – and therefore, all-powerful.


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