Angel Heart (1987) / Michael Seresin, BSC, Episode #63

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Michael Seresin, BSC, connects with AC via Skype to revisit his work on Alan Parker’s Angel Heart, a dark, atmospheric thriller that has gained iconic status in cinematography circles since its theatrical release in 1987. Sharing several anecdotes about the shoot, Seresin reveals how an early wardrobe test for lead actor Mickey Rourke became one of the film’s signature images, how he captured one of Robert De Niro’s most memorable scenes, and how he approached the infamous, blood-drenched sex scene that leads to the story’s denouement.

About the Project

Set in 1955, Angel Heart follows private detective Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) as he attempts to track down a missing person for an eccentric client, Louis Cypher (Robert De Niro). Angel’s search takes him from wintry New York to sultry New Orleans, and as bodies start piling up in his wake, he grows increasingly concerned for his own safety. His search finally comes to a shocking conclusion.

About the Cinematographer

New Zealand native Michael Seresin, BSC, has filmed many motion pictures for director Alan Parker, beginning in 1976 with the unconventional gangster movie Bugsy Malone, in which child actors portrayed adult characters. Their collaborations also include Midnight Express, Fame, Birdy and Angela’s Ashes. Most recently, Seresin shot the 3-D feature Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and he contributed extensive additional photography to Gravity, which won ASC and Academy awards last year.

American Cinematographer interviews cinematographers, directors and other filmmakers to take you behind the scenes on major studio movies, independent films and popular television series.

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