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With his win for Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant, director of photography Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki has become the first person to win three consecutive Oscars in cinematography. He previously won Academy Awards for Inarritu’s Birdman in 2015 and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity in 2014.
“This is incredible,” Lubezki said. ” I want to share it with the cast and crew, especially with my compadre, Mr. Inarritu. To your passion, Alejandro. And I want to share this also with Leo [DiCaprio] and Tom [Hardy], for their great performances.”
The win also makes him the eighth cinematographer to win a total of three Oscars, joining, among others, Freddie Young (Lawrence of Arabia), Conrad Hall (American Beauty), Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now) and Robert Richardson, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for The Hateful Eight and previously won Oscars for Hugo, The Aviator and JFK. Only two cinematographers have won a record four Oscars in the category: The late Leon Shamroy (Cleopatra) and the late Joseph Ruttenberg (Gigi).
Last year, Lubezki became one of four cinematographers to win back-to-back Oscars, joining John Toll (Legends of the Fall in 1995 and Braveheart in 1996), the late Winton Hoch (Joan of Arc in 1949 and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon in 1950), and aforementioned Shamroy (Wilson in 1945 and Leave Her to Heaven in 1946).
Lubezki, born in Mexico City in 1964, also won his fourth BAFTA in four tries earlier this month in London. It was also his third BAFTA in as many years.
Earlier this month he also got his third American Society of Cinematographers Award in a row for The Revenant and his fifth overall.
Also nominated in the Oscar cinematography category this year were Sicario’s Roger Deakins, who has been nominated 13 times and is still seeking his first win; Mad Max: Fury Road’s John Seale, who previously won an Oscar for The English Patient; and Carol’s Ed Lachman.
The Revenant was filmed on location in Canada and Argentina. Roughly 40 percent of the photography used the Arri Alexa 65, a new 6K large-format digital cinematography camera.
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