Alexander Gardner, photograph of Abraham Lincoln, February 5th, 1865. (Recolored by Sanna Dullaway.)

Jony and I just went and saw “Lincoln.” The word ‘wow’ feels insufficient. It is such a privilege to live in a day and age where the pages of history come to life so that we may have a new kind of relationship with those that changed the world. If you know anything about photography, you would know that color photography had not been invented at this time – this is a colorized version of the original black and white image by Swedish photo editor Sanna Dullaway for TIME magazine. Dullaway’s images are striking in their ability to make you feel like this image was just taken yesterday; and while the beauty of black and white images cannot be denied, that invisible barrier between us and the subject seems to be lifted a little bit here, as does this film. In watching an interview with Director Stephen Spielberg & (who Jony and I consider the best living actor) Daniel Day-Lewis I was thrilled to hear how much the cinematography of “Lincoln” was influenced by 19th century painting, when, according to Spielberg, artists began allowing natural light to infuse their work. The magic, therefore, doesn’t come from camera tricks (thought I am not denying their presence) but from the honesty and integrity of the characters and the historical moment. I joked with Jony afterwards that after seeing a film like this, it really makes you consider all that you watch – the bar has certainly been raised! Finally, I loved that Spielberg made clear that film, as a medium, should only be considered a supplement to our understanding of history, and that this was merely capturing one moment, one facet of this great man’s life. (Original post to Instagram November 17, 2012.)


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