Today's CineTribute goes to a woman who sort-of bends the rules a bit. Aside from their general excellence, the unifying factor between all of the cinematographers profiled in this series is that they've never been nominated for an Oscar (yet). In my mind, they can thus lay claim to being under-appreciated, and thereby worthy of celebration. But Ellen Kuras has indeed been nominated for an Oscar, though given that it was for Best Documentary and not Best Cinematography, consider her as worthy of celebration as any of the other CineTribute subjects.
Kuras was Oscar-nominated for 2008's The Betrayal - Nerakhoon, which she co-directed alongside Thavisouk Phrasavath, and it's one among many documentaries on which Kuras has worked. As I've mentioned before, it's a sad indictment of the state of gender equality among cinematographers in Hollywood that female DPs struggle to find work on live action features and so turn to shooting docs instead. And while Kuras' cinematography for titles like 4 Little Girls and Shine a Light is diverse and exemplary, it's in live action that she's excelled most. Her work there ranges from the undeservedly underseen A Little Chaos to the rightfully iconic Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and its stunning imagery. Naturally, it was a pleasure putting this video together, so I hope you enjoy it!
Summer of Sam, 1999
Coffee and Cigarettes, 2003
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004
A Little Chaos, 2014