The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), an elite professional organization comprising cinematographers at the top of their field, celebrates its 100th anniversary today. 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 list culminates in a Top 10 (with the other 90 titles unranked). They are:
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962), shot by Freddie Young, BSC (Dir. David Lean)
- Blade Runner (1982), shot by Jordan Cronenweth, ASC (Dir. Ridley Scott)
- Apocalypse Now (1979), shot by Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
- Citizen Kane (1941), shot by Gregg Toland, ASC (Dir. Orson Welles)
- The Godfather (1972), shot by Gordon Willis, ASC (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
- Raging Bull (1980), shot by Michael Chapman, ASC (Dir. Martin Scorsese)
- The Conformist (1970), shot by Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC (Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)
- Days of Heaven (1978), shot by Néstor Almendros, ASC (Dir. Terrence Malick)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), shot by Geoffrey Unsworth, BSC with additional photography by John Alcott, BSC (Dir. Stanley Kubrick)
- The French Connection (1971), shot by Owen Roizman, ASC (Dir. William Friedkin)
The 100 Milestone Films list was voted on by ASC members who wanted to call attention to the most significant achievements of the cinematographer’s art. The selected films represent a range of styles, eras and visual artistry, but most importantly, it commemorates films that are inspirational 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 full list of 100 films — along with photos and extended captions for the Top 10 — can be found at TheASC.com.