Watch Jacob Swinney’s video essay on the magic hour: Creator of cinema’s most beautiful images.

A Tribute to the “Magic Hour,” Creator of Cinema’s Most Beautiful Images

A Tribute to the “Magic Hour,” Creator of Cinema’s Most Beautiful Images

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Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 24 2015 5:18 PM

A Tribute to the “Magic Hour,” Creator of Cinema’s Most Beautiful Images

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Still from Vimeo

For those who make a living behind a camera, there are few times better to shoot than the “magic hour,” that brief slice of day when the sun has set but its warm, amber glow persists. The technique has an especially rich legacy in movies, with directors like Terence Malick and Paul Thomas Anderson staging some of their most breathtaking compositions in the softly illuminated moments before nightfall.  

Predictably, Jacob Swinney’s tribute to those moments is worth watching for its sheer beauty alone: His video is a striking collection of images culled from films as disparate as Days of Heaven and Spring Breakers. Enjoy.  

Sharan Shetty is on the editorial staff of the New Yorker. You can follow him on Twitter