The 20 Most Beautifully Composed Shots In Cinematic History

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Image: YouTube/bioreflex
Image: YouTube/bioreflex

18. Stalker (1979)

Stalker is considered one of the greatest films of Soviet cinema, telling as it does the remarkable story of men journeying through a mysterious location known as the Zone. Unbelievably, though, the movie’s original footage was actually rendered unusable due to an error in the film stock’s development process. As a result, director Andrei Tarkovsky hired a new cinematographer in Aleksandr Knyazhinsky to reshoot the entire movie from scratch – and Knyazhinsky did a fantastic job.

Image: YouTube/Marvel Entertainment
Image: YouTube/Marvel Entertainment

17. Thor (2011)

Taking inspiration from the work of painter Edward Hopper, Haris Zambarloukos became a master of light manipulation for 2011’s Thor. And his techniques were particularly effective in achieving an ethereal, otherworldly look for the scenes set on the planet of Asgard. This shot, for example, quite artistically depicts the titular character’s final fight with the villainous Loki.

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Image: YouTube/Fox Searchlight
Image: YouTube/Fox Searchlight

16. Black Swan (2010)

In order to depict the breakdown of Black Swan’s dancing protagonist Nina, Matthew Libatique turned to a number of techniques not normally associated with narrative cinema. For instance, the cinematographer used a single handheld camera and a small crew – practices usually reserved for documentaries – to keep the audience in Nina’s headspace. And it worked particularly well during climatic scenes such as this one, in which the ballerina makes her stage debut as Swan Lake’s Odette.

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