For Yorick Le Saux, the French d.p. of “I Am Love” and “Carlos,” the art of cinematography is more akin to music than to painting.
“It’s very important to feel the rhythm inside the shot,” he explains. “It could be the rhythm of the light, of the movement of the actors, of the blocking. I loved to work with (helmers) Luca Guadagnino and with Olivier Assayas, because they are like musicians, they have the rhythm inside them.”
Le Saux sees himself as an instrument in the hands of the director. “I follow the director, I trust the director,” he says, “he gives you the right way to shoot his story and you have to adapt,” he says.
From the gorgeously emotional lensing of “I Am Love” to the no-frills documentary style of “Carlos,” Le Saux is clearly very adaptable. Even within “I Am Love,” he straddles a wide visual range, from the chilly wealth of the Recchi household to the warm sensuality of the countryside where Tilda Swinton experiences her passionate reawakening.
“At first I was afraid that those two parts would be too different, that they wouldn’t feel like the same film,” he confesses. “But when we were shooting, I felt really good about it.”
“Yorick is like a dancer, he fits himself into the mood, the music of the film, and then he plays, he dances with his compadres,” Swinton says. “His flexibility, particularly with a handheld camera, is remarkable.”
Le Saux first made his name working with Francois Ozon, shooting shorts together at film school, then graduating to features such as “Swimming Pool” and the upcoming “Potiche.”
The recent acclaim for his camera work has brought him wider international opportunities. Next Le Saux will lens his first American film, “Arbitrage,” a Wall Street drama by first-time director Nicolas Jarecki, to star Al Pacino.
Role model: Stanley Cortez’ expressionist lensing of Charles Laughton’s “The Night of the Hunter,” and Fritz Lang’s richly colored “Moonfleet” (shot by Robert Planck).
Camera & film used: Aaton’s new super-light Penelope camera, with two-perf Kodak film (“Carlos”); Arricam Light with Fuji and Kodak film (“I Am Love”).
Adam Arkapaw | David Boyd | Benoit Debie | Zoltan Honti | Yorick Le Saux | Jody Lee Lipes | Michael McDonough | Reed Morano | Kramer Morgenthau | Andrew Reed