James Wong Howe was a successful and distinguished Chinese American cinematographer. Howe started his career as an assistant cameraperson and gradually established himself as one of the most influential and sought after cinematographers in Hollywood. A virtuoso in applying and exploiting shadows in films, Howe was one of the pioneers in using deep-focus cinematography where distant places remained under focus along with foreground of the scenes. His rich body of work encompassed more than 130 films that he contributed to in a long career span of over five decades. He worked with many eminent directors like Allan Dwan, Samuel Fuller, John Cromwell, Sidney Lumet and William K. Howard. His excellent work on cinematography saw him being nominated for the ‘Academy Awards’ ten times. He won the award twice, first in 1956 for the film ‘The Rose Tattoo’ and then for the 1963 film ‘Hud’. According to a survey of members of ‘International Cinematographers Guild’, Howe was considered one of history’s 10 most influential cinematographers. He became a member of the prestigious ‘American Society of Cinematographers’ and had the honour and right to add ASC to his name.
This week Derek reviews Pieces of a Woman & Nomadland. Also this week: The History of Film. Derek gives us a peak at past filmmakers that changed the landscape of films. This week it’s James Wong Howe and his 1943 movie The Hard Way.