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Emmanuel Lubezki Morgenstern, ASC, AMC (born 1964), better known as Emmanuel Lubezki, is a Mexican cinematographer, known for his groundbreaking techniques and characteristic style. His nickname is "Chivo".

Collaboration with Alfonso Cuarón[]

Lubezki frequently collaborates with fellow Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón. The two have been friends since they were teenagers and attended the same film school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Together they have worked on six motion pictures: Sólo con tu Pareja (1991), A Little Princess (1995), Great Expectations (1998), Y tu mamá también (2001), Children of Men (2006) and Gravity (2013). His work with Cuarón on Children of Men and Gravity, have received universal acclaim and he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for both. Cuarón claims that the first person he sent the finishedGravity screenplay to was Lubezki.

Early life and career[]

Lubezki was born in Mexico City, Mexico, to a Jewish family. His father is actor Muni Lubezki. One of his grandmothers moved from Russia, to Shanghai, to Mexico City.

Lubezki began his career in Mexican film and television productions in the late 1980s, such as the horror-oriented cult series La Hora Marcada (1986). His first international production was the 1993 independent film Twenty Bucks, which followed the journey of a single twenty-dollar bill.

The film utilized a number of new technologies and distinctive techniques. The "roadside ambush" scene was shot in one extended take utilizing a special camera rig invented by Doggicam systems, developed from the company's Power Slide system. For the scene, a vehicle was modified to enable seats to tilt and lower actors out of the way of the camera. The windshield of the car was designed to tilt out of the way to allow camera movement in and out through the front windscreen. A crew of four, including Lubezki, rode on the roof. Children of Men also features a seven-and-a-half-minute battle sequence composed of roughly five seamless edits.

Lubezki received further acclaim for his work on Gravity, a 3-D thriller set in outer space and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

Lubezki has also worked with a variety of major directors, including Mike Nichols (The Birdcage, 1996), Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow, 1999), Michael Mann (Ali, 2001), Terrence Malick (The New World, 2005, The Tree of Life, 2011, To the Wonder, 2013). Martin Scorsese (Shine a Light, 2007, as camera operator under supervision of cinematographer Robert Richardson) and The Coen Brothers (Burn After Reading, 2008). He has been nominated for six Academy Awards.

Most recently, Lubezki collaborated with Terrence Malick on To the Wonder, a romantic drama shot in fall 2010 in Oklahoma, and with Alfonso Cuarón on Gravity, his first entirely digitally acquired film (for which he used the Arri Alexa).

Oscar Win[]


"Gravity" winning Best Cinematography

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