I didn't learn about this until just now but Oscar-nominated British cinematographer Alex Thomson died on the 14th. Thomson entered the film industry in 1946 as a clapper loader and worked his way up to regular camera operator for Nicolas Roeg in the 1960's before becoming a full-fledged director of photography in 1968. His career suffered a hiatus in the mid 70's when he was injured falling off a camera rostrum on the set of Jesus Christ Superstar, but he eventually returned to work for a number of different filmmakers and genres, including fantasy (Excalibur, Labyrinth, Legend), action (Executive Decision, Cliffhanger, Raw Deal), sci-fi (Leviathan, Demolition Man, Fincher's Alien film) and period drama (The Scarlet Letter, Black Beauty). While the quality of the films varied, Thomson's keen eye never did.
I think, however, that his major accomplishment was shooting Kenneth Branagh's epic version of the unedited text of Hamlet. It is, for my money, the closest a movie can get to being a definitive adaptation of Shakespeare's greatest playas well as the most visually spectacular. Shot entirely on 70mm (the most recent film to utilize that format), I had the opportunity when I was in college to see the complete 4-hour version of Hamlet at a theatre called the MacDonald (which is sadly no longer there). It was the only theatre in Eugene that had a 70mm projector, so it was the only venue playing Bragnagh's film. Not only was it truly breathtaking to behold, it was also the only movie I've ever seen on the big screen that had an intermission. Branagh's Hamlet is set for release on DVD later this year and at long last I'll be able to get rid of my widescreen VHS copy and appreciate the incredible cinematography of the late great Alex Thomson in all its glory.