Mexican cinematographer, Rodrigo Prieto, who worked for Martin Scorsese on The Wolf of Wall Street and the pilot for HBO’s Vinyl, has earned his second Oscar nomination for the pair’s latest collaboration, ‘Silence’, a Paramount historical drama set in 17th Century Japan.
The film follows two young Jesuit priests who travel East in search of a missing mentor, and drew visual inspiration from 1950s Japanese movies Scorsese screened for the cast and crew, such as Ucetsu, and Gate of Hell, favouring natural lighting and working with weather conditions such as rolling fog.
Prieto, 51, now filming his third consecutive film for Scorcese, ‘The Irishman’, says he enjoys interpreting the director’s ideas, often expressed through emotion or colour, and bringing them through technical mastery onto the screen.
He was nominated for Best Cinematography for ‘Brokeback Mountain’ in 2006 when he lost to Dion Beebe of Memoirs of a Geisha. Speaking at a news conference in Mexico City on Tuesday (February 14), Prieto, expressed his delight at his second nomination.
“The nomination is very very special for me, if I win I am not going to complain, what a pleasure (that would be), of course, but it is a wonderful time, sharing this with other nominees and with the family, it is like a party and I am enjoying it. Above all, I feel that it is an opportunity to speak about the film and promote ‘Silence’, which I really think is a special film, very powerful and emotional,” said Prieto.
He used the opportunity, however, to comment on the decision process at the Oscars which he said is influenced by politics among other factors, such that he would not be disheartened if he missed out on a win.
“I have no idea which way voters are going to go, there are lots of things which influence this, the political period we are living in also influences this, all sorts of things. So these are factors which are out of my hands and which really have nothing to do with the quality of work, so that is why I say, if they give it to me, incredible, but if not, I am not going to feel that my work is not up to it and that the film does not deserve it,” said Prieto.
Other films up for the award this year include ‘Arrival’, ‘La La Land’, ‘Lion’, and ‘Moonlight’.