The great Haskell Wexler shot any number of films that could be highlighted in this section, but few can match the overwhelming ambition of this epic by Elia Kazan, based on the life of his uncle. Powered by a largely unknown cast, America, America follows Stavros (Stathis Giallelis), a Cappadocian Greek, from his tiny Anatolian village to Constantinople and finally to New York City, encountering poverty, hardship, and struggle all along the way. Wexler’s sumptuous and kinetic black-and-white handheld cinematography suffuses America, America with a spontaneous energy uncharacteristic of period films at the time, greatly enhancing Kazan’s turn-of-the-20th-century portrayal of an immigrant’s journey to a better life.
Cinematography by Haskell Wexler
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