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'A Little Chaos' Cinematographer on Being Inspired by Vermeer and Versailles

4/08/2015 1:15 PM Eastern
Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle in 'A Little Chaos.'

A Little Chaos cinematographer Ellen Kuras talks to American Cinematographer about shooting the romantic period film which takes place in King Louis XIV's court in Versailles.

Says Kuras, "Our main reference in terms of lighting was the Dutch master Vermeer. When we scouted the real Versailles during preproduction, the light was very much like a Vermeer painting: a very strong sidelight, a strong key light. I didn’t always have the luxury of making it happen, but that’s the spirit we were looking for. As for film references, we watched The Remains of the Day, and I suggested [director] Alan [Rickman] take a look at The Libertine, which has a really strong look and is quite a dark film. He was reticent about going that far, favoring a more balanced, naturalistic look. He definitely didn’t want the look to overwhelm the acting, nor to distract viewers from what's happening in the story. Although everything was authentic to the period — there were no anachronistic elements — Alan didn’t want the film to feel like a rarefied period piece with no relevance to contemporary life. He wanted it to feel like a story that could happen just as easily today as in the 17th century."

Read the full story here.

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