In a continuation of his awards dominance in feature cinematography this year, Emmanuel Lubezki, the d.p. behind “The Tree of Life,” nabbed the top prize at the 26th annual American Society of Cinematographers’ kudofest on Sunday night at the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom.
Lubezki’s photography on the Terrence Malick film has nearly swept the critics organizations’ d.p. laurels so far, including the big three: The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.
Since the ASC inaugurated its awards ceremony in 1986, the invitation-only org’s winners and those of the Academy have overlapped 10 times, including four out of the last six years. Lubezki won the ASC award previously for 2007’s “Children of Men,” and is Oscar-nominated this year for “Tree of Life.”
Other winners included Jonathan Freeman for the “21” episode of “Boardwalk Empire” (“21”) for one-hour Episodic Television Series/Pilot; Martin Ruhe, who earned top honors for PBS’ “Page Eight” in television movie/miniseries; and in the inaugural Episodic Series or Pilot category, Michael Weaver claimed the prize for Showtime’s “Californication” (“Suicide Solution”).
Dante Spinotti accepted the Lifetime Achievement laurel from director Michael Mann, with whom he worked on “Heat” and “Public Enemies,” among other films.
Other honorary kudos were handed to Harrison Ford (Board of Goverors award), whose reel included d.p. touchstones “Apocalypse Now” and “Bladerunner” and who gave a special shoutout to dolly grips; Francis Kenny (President’s award), who uses the Red Epic camera on “Justiified” and described his acceptance into the ASC as entering into “the school of advanced visual metaphors”; William Wages (Career Achievement in TV) and Fred Godfrey (Bud Stone Award of Distinction).