Too often, the great cinematographers of Hollywood go unsung. And yet it is they who work in beams and shadows the way other artists do in clay or paint, molding light into ghostly chiaroscuro dreams that haunt and delight in equal measure.
Joseph H. August (1890-1947) was one of the finest of Hollywood’s masters of light. His credits are numerous and varied, his imagery brilliant and unforgettable. He also was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy in Word War II, serving his country with distinction. THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945) was one of the last films he lensed before being felled by a heart attack at the age of 57. It was also one of his best, a triumph of light and shadow pressed into the service of a marvelous director, John Ford.
The following video, then, is a homage to this pioneer of Hollywood cinematography, offered up in memory of his life and work with much appreciation and affection.
Joseph H. August — American. Genius. Master of Light.
FOR CONSERVATIVE MOVIE LOVERS is the name of an ongoing series of written essays on cinema appearing at BIG HOLLYWOOD, a leading conservative website focused on reforming America’s poisoned popular culture:
Join conservative cinéaste Leo Grin as he journeys through the history of the greatest art form of our time, highlighting the intellectual, mythological, and cultural importance of the discipline from a right-wing perspective. Read penetrating essays on each film, explore a host of accompanying links to further reading, find information on buying and renting the discussed movies, and add your comments to the ongoing film-club discussion.