Rachel Morrison & Cartoni Lambda on the new film Mudbound

“DP Rachel Morrison on Creating a Tactile ‘Mudbound’ & Making ‘Black Panther’ Distinct”


First off, congratulations to Cinematographer Rachel Morrison​ for making history and becoming the first female director of photography to receive an Oscar nomination.

Rachel Morrison has not-so-quietly emerged as one of the most exciting cinematographers working today. While she had previously shot a number of short films, documentaries, and even the MTV series The Hills, Morrison first started making waves as a director of photography with her work on Zal Batmanglij’s thriller Sound of My Voice, and broke out in a big way with Ryan Coogler’s terrific 2013 debut Fruitvale Station. Wearing her documentary influences on her sleeve with a knack for textured and deep frames that accentuate the most human of characteristics, Morrison went on to shoot films like Cake and the colorful Dope, but her best work to date is on Dee Rees’ tremendous Southern epic Mudbound, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and will be released on Netflix on November 17th.

Based on the Hillary Jordan novel of the same name, Mudbound takes place in the 1940s and revolves around two families—one white, one black—who live on one farm. The black family works the farm for the white family, but the stories of the characters are endlessly intertwined as they navigate racism, poverty, misogyny, and the enduring effects of slavery as World War II breaks out. The film is a triumph—a rich, deeply felt, and gorgeous chronicle of family life with strong parallels to some of the same issues America still faces today. And Morrison’s work on the movie is outstanding, bringing the 1940s South to life in a way that’s so tactile you’ll swear you can feel the sweet heat of a Mississippi summer on your face.

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