Craig McCall’s 2010 documentary Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff is an excellent film about one of the most important cinematographers who ever lived, having shot Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, The Black Box, The African Queen, War & Peace, The Dogs of War, Conan The Destroyer, and Rambo: First Blood Part II. Cardiff was also a full-fledged director (The Liquidator, Penny Gold, My Geisha, The Long Ships), and the film covers his fascinating life and career, though I did wish that an entire section had been devoted to his work on the insane actioner Dark of the Sun, aka The Mercenaries.
The film is available for purchase on DVD, but is sadly out of print on Blu-ray and fetching $200 on Amazon. It’s also a DVD-rental-in-the-mail option from Netflix, and is available via Amazon streaming service. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival about a year after Cardiff’s death, and features informative and engaging talking-head footage with some amazing filmmakers, all of whom heap deserved praise on Cardiff’s camera techniques and filmography in general, as well as footage from many of the incredible pictures he worked on. This is a film buff’s idea of a great night.
Review by Nick Clement