The American Society of Cinematographers celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the society released their members’ list of 100 Milestone Films in the art and craft of cinematography of the 20th century. The list is the first of its kind to showcase the best of cinematography as selected by professional cinematographers. The sizzle reel above shows some of the most moving and exciting screen images from the last hundred years, it’s powerful stuff

The ASC describes the process of compiling the list ‘The process of cultivating the 100 films began with ASC members each submitting 10 to 25 titles that were personally inspirational or perhaps changed the way they approached their craft. “I asked them — as cinematographers, members of the ASC, artists, filmmakers and people who love film and whose lives were shaped by films — to list the films that were most influential,” Fierberg explains. A master list was then complied, and members voted on what they considered to be the most essential 100 titles.’

 

The list culminates in a Top 10 (with the other 90 titles unranked). They are:

  1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962), shot by Freddie Young, BSC (Dir. David Lean)
  2. Blade Runner (1982), shot by Jordan Cronenweth, ASC (Dir. Ridley Scott)
  3. Apocalypse Now (1979), shot by Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  4. Citizen Kane (1941), shot by Gregg Toland, ASC (Dir. Orson Welles)
  5. The Godfather (1972), shot by Gordon Willis, ASC (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
  6. Raging Bull (1980), shot by Michael Chapman, ASC (Dir. Martin Scorsese)
  7. The Conformist (1970), shot by Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC (Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)
  8. Days of Heaven (1978), shot by Néstor Almendros, ASC (Dir. Terrence Malick)
  9. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), shot by Geoffrey Unsworth, BSC with additional photography by John Alcott, BSC (Dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  10. The French Connection (1971), shot by Owen Roizman, ASC (Dir. William Friedkin)

 

The list was voted on by ASC members and organized by Steven Fierberg, ASC (The Affair, Good Girls Revolt, Entourage). “ASC members wanted to call attention to the most significant achievements of the cinematographer’s art but not refer to one achievement as ‘better’ than another,” notes Fierberg. “The selected films represent a range of styles, eras and visual artistry, but most importantly, it commemorates films that are inspirational or influential to ASC members and have exhibited enduring influence on generations of filmmakers.”

Founded by 15 cinematographers in 1919, the ASC has been a professional cornerstone for the men and women who oversee the photography of motion pictures and television through the masterful manipulation of lighting, composition, color and camera movement. The Society’s esteemed international membership represents the most prolific artists in the field. When a cinematographer’s name is followed by the letters “ASC,” it denotes a level of professional and artistic success signifying that they are among the finest practitioners of their craft.

The full list of 100 films — and accompanying photos and extended captions for the Top 10 — can be found on the American Cinematographer Instagram and Facebookaccounts, and at www.theasc.com.