Lomo Cinema Club: The Strange Worlds of Yorgos Lanthimos

Lomo Cinema Club is a new magazine series that draws inspiration from the unique styles and voices of contemporary filmmakers. The series aims to showcase how their distinct visions and visual signatures have influenced or are reflected in daily life and analogue photography.

Our first volume features the work of Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos. His most recent film, "Poor Things," based on Alasdair Gray's 1992 novel, has been critically praised for its unique storytelling and maddening wonder world, which was partially shot on a rehoused Lomography Petzval lens.

Film photos that embody London in 2023's "Poor Things"
Selected photos shot on a Lomo’Instant Square Glass Camera, Lomo LC-A+ 35 mm Film Camera, Lomo LC-Wide 35 mm Film Camera, Lomography Petzval lens, and with the Lady Grey B&W 35 mm ISO 400

We've curated community photos that imitate or reflect similar visuals found in Lanthimos’ works. We will be looking into three of his English-language films that we believe have the most Lomographic elements, feelings and/or associations with our Lomography products and ethos: The Lobster (2015), The Favourite (2018), and Poor Things (2023).

Film photos that embody Portugal in 2023's "Poor Things"
Selected photos shot on a Diana Mini with the Lomography Redscale XR 120 ISO 50–200

Lanthimos is an intuitive director unafraid to hinge on the unconventional and disorienting, exposing both the mundanity and the extremes of life – mostly on 35 mm motion picture film – "Film already has a personality and look, making the editing process more about refinement than creation from scratch," shared Lanthimos in an interview with the ASC. He also employs experimentation in his filmmaking, mostly interchanging among three types of lenses - fisheye, wide, and zoom - to express the fluidity and singular vision of the stories he tells.

The Lobster (2015)

Film photos that embody the Irish Countryside in 2015's "The Lobster"

"The Lobster" is Lanthimos' first English-language film, set in an Irish countryside hotel where guests are granted 45 days to find a romantic partner or be turned into an animal of their choosing. Although the film was shot digitally, these community photos shot on film accurately capture the lonely atmosphere that looms throughout.

The Favourite (2018)

Film photos that embody scenes from 2018's "The Favourite"
Selected photos shot on a Fisheye camera line, Lomo LC-A+ 35 mm Film Camera, and with the Lady Grey B&W 35 mm ISO 400

"The Favourite" marked Lanthimos’ first period film and first collaboration with cinematographer Robbie Ryan (who would later go on to shoot 2023’s “Poor Things” too!) Using extreme wide-angle lenses, fisheye, and natural lighting, they set out to create a darkly comedic but compelling love triangle story that explores desire, status, and possibilities in a grand-scaled world. The result is a film that immerses the viewers in a world that gradually descends into madness, power, and passion.

Poor Things (2023)

Film photos that embody France in 2023's "Poor Things"
Selected photos shot on a Diana F+, Lomo LC-A 120, La Sardina, and with the Lomography Color Negative 35 mm ISO 400

A film that has captivated people from all over the world, "Poor Things" tells the story of Bella Baxter's journey of self-discovery and empowerment as she uncovers and discovers her own abilities. From London, to Portugal, to France, she travels across oceans, experiencing a wealth of new things and widening her perspective in a semi-fantasy world that is imaginative and vibrant, yet with hyperrealistic tones.

Film photos that embody scenes from 2023's "Poor Things"
Selected photos shot using a Lomography Petzval lens

Using a variety of motion picture film stocks ranging from black and white to color, each choice represented a different chapter of Bella’s journey. To achieve a sense of adventure, fantasy, and imagination, the filmmakers used the Petzval lenses during certain sequences to create a porthole into another world. In the same ASC Interview mentioned earlier, Cinematographer Robbie Ryan also shared the purpose of using the specific lens, "The portrait lenses were 58mm and 85mm [Lomography] Petzvals, which are known for their distinct bokeh, where the center is sharp and everything else spirals out of focus."

Images that embody scenes from 2023's "Poor Things"

Incorporating analogue motion picture film into your visual storytelling can offer incredible surprises and greater flexibility than you might think. With the option to manipulate the development process through over or under-exposing your images, you can experiment with colors and details beyond imagination.

See the Petzval series and lens collection here.

What’s your favorite Yorgos Lanthimos film? Have you seen other community photos shared on Lomography that remind you of the director's work?

written by macasaett on 2024-03-07 #culture #cinema #film #fisheye #petzval #yorgos-lanthimos

New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9 MKII SLR Art Lens

The New Petzval 80.5 mm f/1.9 MKII Art Lens has been designed for (d)SLR photographers and filmmakers alike. Sporting a new helicoid focusing mechanism and a stopless aperture diaphragm as well as a Waterhouse Aperture System, this lens is available for Canon EF and Nikon F Mounts. The New Petzval 80.5 MKII is also available in an Advanced Bokeh Control Edition, featuring a Bokeh Control ring.

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