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Messerschimidt–who previously worked with Fincher on Netflix series Mindhunter–said that the iconic Citizen Kane “is one of the movies that make me want to make movies” and its legendary cinematographer Gregg Toland “pushed the medium forward.”
He said he was happy “to make a movie that references what he did a little bit …though through a modern lens and while bringing something new to it.”
This is the second time in three years that a black-and-white film won the cinematography Oscar, with Alfonso Cuaron topping the category in 2019 for his film Roma. It’s also only the third time since 1968 that a black and white movie earned a cinematography Oscar. The third was Schindler’s List in 1994.
A cinematography Oscar was first handed out in 1928 to Charles Rosher and Karl Struss for the silent film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. In 1939, the category was separated into two, one for color and one for black-and-white. In 1968, cinematography again became a single category.
Mank also won an Academy Award for production design. This is the second Oscar for Fincher’s longtime production designer Donald Graham Burt, who won his first Academy Award in 2009 for the director’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And it’s was the first win for set decorator Jan Pascale, who has one prior nomination, for George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck.
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