There’s an excellent chance that you already know the work of Jack Cardiff, and picking a few prominent films from his considerable career behind the camera, as a director and one of the celebrated cinematographers of all time, yield a collection of images both haunting and luminous.

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff takes a fairly standard route through the mesmerising work of a cinematographer whose work is instantly recognisable and full of love for the magic of cinema. Craig McCall’s documentary succeeds because Cardiff is candid in his passions and recall of the dramas which surrounded the films and the people caught up in their wake.

Cardiff’s gift is evident in almost every frame of the films McCall selects which, while sticking to the safe road of Powell and Pressburger amongst others, allow the beauty of Cardiff’s work to seduce you into not minding the few taking heads who seek to over analyse the images on screen.

If there was ever an example of a Bonus DVD appearing with its accompanying films this is it, and that’s not to disparage this documentary, in fact it’s testament to the fact that after watching it I instantly wanted to see all the films Cardiff had a hand in on Blu-ray, so compelling is he as a subject and his filmography as a body of work.

The extras on this disc are also wonderful – particularly the iconic portraits Cardiff shot throughout his career, but each and every minute on this disc, be it main feature or extra, are worth your time.

I don’t usually have my computer near me when watching a film for review but I was compelled to tweet my feelings to the wider twittersphere, here’s what I said,

Watching Cameraman about the work of Jack Cardiff – the man’s a genius. The colours are stunning. A truly amazing documentary. Inspiring.

No. Seriously. Everyone must see the Cameraman DVD – Jack Cardiff’s work is stunning. This documentary is captivating.

Ok. Just finished the Cameraman doc by Craig McCall. Stunned. Humbled. Inspired. A Celebration & an education. Buy It!

All of which do a good job of summing up my feelings, except to say that there are films discussed here which need to be watched for many reasons, Cardiff was fortunate to work with true masters of their craft certainly, but to see Cardiff’s work on as big a screen as possible is a must and Craig McCall’s documentary truly whets the appetite to see Cardiff’s masterpieces in full.

A few images are included below to give a flavour,

Here’s the trailer for the DVD,