McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a Wild West story from the beginning of the 20th century, which might even be called a Western if it were clear who is good and who is bad. The two lead characters, McCabe (Warren Beatty) and Mrs. Miller (Julie Christie) can by no means be regarded as representatives of law and justice without reproach, unless of course we consider the running of a brothel as a respectable form of enterprise. The film's director, Robert Altman, had essentially found international fa...me only a year previously, when his film M*A*S*H was awarded the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Altman worked on an earlier film with cinematographer László Kovács, a friend from Vilmos Zsigmond's student days.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller presented Zsigmond with a difficult and highly visual task as cinematographer. In the case of a period drama, the cinematographer must ask the question: how should I portray the light and hues of the past? Have people really thought about what distinguishes the visual world of a film set in the past from one set in the future? How warm or cool should the colours be, and how sharp the images? McCabe & Mrs. Miller generates an enormously powerful visual atmosphere through distinctive camera movements, zoom lenses and special filters. When the director Stanley Kubrick saw the film, he turned to Altman and remarked: "Fantastic camera work. How did you do it?”
The time has come for us, too, to talk about what makes a film feel authentic and moving for us. And how a visual world can be created in which the characters, clothes, objects, interiors and exteriors come together to represent a unified place and time.
The series is made possible with the support of the Hungarian National Film Fund.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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