Bradford Young on Selma & A Most Violent Year
Bradford Young discusses the cinematography of Ava DuVernay's Selma and J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year.
Bradford Young’s expressive, naturalistic cinematography is reaching its widest audience to date. After making his mark on contemporary dramas like Pariah (AC April ’11), Middle of Nowhere (AC Nov. ’12), Mother of George (AC April ’13) and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (AC Sep. ’13), the D.C.-based cinematographer currently has two period films in release: Selma and A Most Violent Year.
Selma recounts the three months in 1965 when Martin Luther King Jr. (portrayed by David Oyelowo) helped organize the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to pressure President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) into taking action on black voting rights that were being thwarted by local governments despite having been signed into federal law. “How do you film a myth, a speech, a holiday?” asks director Ava DuVernay. “We tried to get underneath and find an ordinary guy who did extraordinary things.” She also widened the script’s focus to include King’s “band of brothers,” underscoring the movement’s breadth. “It’s called Selma; it’s not called King,” she notes. [...]