Archive of films Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff / Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff

United Kingdom
2010, 83 min

Section: Tribute to Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
Year: 2010

An intriguing documentary portrait of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s legendary cameraman and colleague (who died last year). Recounted by Jack Cardiff himself along with his colleagues and friends (including Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall), this biopic is rounded out with clips from movies he helped make famous (The Red Shoes, The African Queen, War and Peace).


In 2001 Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) became the first director of photography in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Honorary Oscar. But the first time he clasped the famous statuette in his hand was a half-century earlier when his Technicolor camerawork was awarded for Powell and Pressburger’s Black Narcissus. Beyond John Huston’s The African Queen and King Vidor’s War and Peace, the films of the British-Hungarian creative duo (The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death too) guaranteed immortality for the renowned cameraman whose career spanned seventy years. More than a decade in the making, this documentary portrait of the Technicolor master (who died last year) is composed of intriguing interviews with Cardiff himself, as well as with his colleagues and admirers (Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Thelma Schoonmaker, and Richard Fleischer, among many others). The amazing story of the legendary cameraman’s life and work is rounded out with numerous clips from movies that today would not be half so famous without Cardiff’s eye and creative inventiveness.

About the director

Craig McCall, British film director and producer, studied at Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design. After graduation, he filmed and codirected the documentary travelogue Nomad for Channel 4 television. In 1993 he came out with the award-winning documentary Notes from Underground on the British independent music scene. A year later, EMI commissioned his first music video, which became one of MTV’s most successful videos that year. He is also a successful director of television commercials. In recent years, he has written, produced and directed two documentaries exploring the Technicolor photography of two Powell and Pressburger movies: The Colour Merchant looks at A Matter of Life and Death, and Painting with Light examines Black Narcissus.


High Point Media Group
Suite 16, Deane House Studios, Greenwood Place, NW5 1LB, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 742 468 70
Fax: +44 20 748 532 81

About the film

Color, HD CAM

Section: Tribute to Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
Director: Craig McCall
Screenplay: Craig McCall
Dir. of Photography: James Welland, Bob Williams
Music: Mark Sayer-Wade
Editor: Dan Roberts
Producer: Craig McCall, Richard McGill
Production: Modus Operandi Films Ltd.
Contact: High Point Media Group


Craig McCall

Film Director


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