Cinematography in Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Searcher)

I came across this article that further explains the cinematography in Portrait of a Lady on Fire. What resonated with me in the film was how Claire Mathon portrayed the tension between Héloïse and Marianne through longing glances, and she explains how this was done through the use of tracking shots. As mentioned in the article, the gazes between these two characters were made more realistic through the use of the Dolly shot. Along with the Dolly shot, Mathon decided to place the characters in the “same shot” to further portray their desire. Something else that I noticed while watching the film was the use of fire and candles, and the contrast in color between the flames and the darkness of night. This article touches on this idea, and reveals that it was challenging to maintain the flicker of the flames and movement of light. Additionally, the scenes shot during nighttime had a shallow depth of field, which caused the background to become blurry and the flames and Héloïse to become the main focus. Finally, I noticed the details that the cameras picked up of the characters’ faces, and the article touches on this by explaining that Mathon wanted to reveal the redness of their faces to further convey their emotions.

One thought on “Cinematography in Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Searcher)

  1. This is very interesting. The insights into the cinematography of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” reveal how the clever camera work added depth to the film. By using techniques like tracking shots and the Dolly shot, she made the tension between Héloïse and Marianne more palpable. Mathon’s attention to detail in capturing the characters’ emotions through their facial expressions shows how the movie goes beyond just visuals, making it a touching story about love and longing.

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