18 September, Bitola – This year, Bitola hosts one of the most impressive cinematographers, not only in the UK, but also worldwide – John Mathieson. He has been twice nominated for an Oscar for the films Phantom of the Opera and Gladiator, and he’s been nominated the same amount of times for the ICFF “Manaki Brothers” award.
-Shooting films is connected to the visual language. If you have a good production and good collaborators, you have nothing to worry about. I like more simple things, with less filters, less pomp. We have to point out that the directors I collaborate with want to make films, but it is very hard to comply with the distribution, because companies want superheroes, genre films etc., and when you connect with commercials, millions of dollars come in, and things still come together, Mathieson says.
He revealed that as a young kid he was a fan of James Bond films and he was interested in who had made them and how, as well as the films of Wenders, Spielberg and others.
-I think that there is a big change now, especially in terms of the pioneers of film. For example, the area where Charlie Chaplin was filming in London doesn’t exist anymore, which is really bad because it would be great to be able to go through it and make a museum. Exactly that part of London, where there are cobblestone streets, houses covered in smoke, a grayness in the ambience with which Chaplin shows the authentic life at that time in London. It is hard to make such a thing nowadays, Mathieson thinks.
Cinema is a temple for him, and the only supporters of films are the festivals.
-This is a film festival and I love it when people go to the temple. There are 4-5 cinemas in London now, which are privatized and nothing of quality is screened there. The selection depends on the owner of the cinema. There are very few independent cinemas which show quality content, but also rare are the moments where an audience whose attention can be captured and held is concentrated. I love the idea of entering the temple, the cinema, to turn off all the gadgets and enjoy the film. You have to give something to people, to make them think, because you don’t get the same quality of sound, the perspective, at home, you can’t see all that is put into making the film, Mathieson pointed out.