When asked during our recent webcam chat (watch above) about turning August Wilson‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Fences” into a cinematic experience, cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen candidly admits, “it was a question that we never really treated that specifically.” This Paramount Pictures release stars Denzel Washington as Troy, an African American father struggling against race relations in 1950s Pittsburgh while trying to raise his family and come to terms with events in his life. Washington and Viola Davis reprised their Tony-winning roles, and recently snagged Golden Globe and SAG nominations.
In addition to starring, Washington helmed this big screen adaptation, and according to Christensen, “the way he spoke about it to us, and to me, was that there’s nothing to escape. It’s not like we have to run away and do something completely different.” While the screenplay by Wilson added new scenes and locations, “it was pretty close to what the stage play was. So it wasn’t like what are we going to do to make it cinematic? It was more let’s stay true to what now the screenplay is, which was more cinematic in the way it was written.”
Born in Denmark, Christensen came to prominence working with Thomas Vinterberg on “Submarino” (2010), “The Hunt” (2012), and “Far From the Maddening Crowd” (2015). This year also found her stepping behind the camera for Tate Taylor‘s thriller “The Girl on the Train,” and up next is Aaron Sorkin‘s directorial debut, “Molly’s Game.” Could she become the first woman ever nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars?
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