BAFTA paints Cardiff’s picture

Cinematographer's film work was inspired by iconic painters

LONDON – Indulging his other artistic passion, cinematographer Jack Cardiff showcased an array of paintings July 19 at BAFTA.

“Painting was a relief to get away from the horrors of filmmaking,” said the 90-year-old lenser — who won an Oscar for 1947’s “Black Narcissus” and an honorary nod in 2001– during a talk hosted by docu helmer Craig McCall.

The paintings, mainly inspired by the Impressionists, lend insight into Cardiff’s state of mind while he was working with helmers such as Michael Powell and Alfred Hitchcock. For example, the extreme contrast between red and green often found in “Black Narcissus” was inspired by Van Gogh.

Cardiff said J.M.W. Turner influenced him most. “I believe he would have been a wonderful cameraman because he was very brilliant in his perception of light and shade and such a daredevil.”

Cardiff is currently planning another project: He wants to take photographs of today’s beauties and endow them with some old-school glamour.

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