Manuel Alberto Claro
online film talk
Manuel Alberto Claro is one of the most important and influential contemporary directors of photography. He is mainly known for his long-term collaboration with director Lars Von Trier – he was the DOP on his three latest films, Melancholia, Nymphomaniac, and The House That Jack Built.
Manuel Alberto Claro was born in Santiago de Chile in 1970. His family moved to Copenhagen when Manuel was only 4. He graduated as a stills photographer from Milan's Istituto Europeo di Design in 1994 and then worked as an assistant photographer in Milan, New York City, and Copenhagen before enrolling at the National Film School of Denmark in 1997. Strongly influenced by the Danish ‘Dogma 95’ movement, Claro rapidly found his voice and his way in the industry.
The second feature film he worked on was Reconstruction (2003) from director Christoffer Boe, which went on to win the Camera d’Or at Cannes Film Festival in 2003. Two years later he made the film Dark Horse directed by Dagur Kári which premiered in Un Certain Regard in Cannes. Manuel has worked with Von Trier in almost all his major films since the 2011 psychological drama Melancholia.
“My aim is to make images that are in love with the story and not with themselves,” Claro told Idol Magazine, adding that his professional role model is Harris Savides.
He pushed boundaries on both technical and narrative levels on the Trier’s Nymphomaniac 1 & 2, as well as on their last collaboration called The House That Jack Built. The film presents an exhilarating combination of naturalism with excursions into alternative realms of reality and experience. In 2015 Manuel Alberto Claro also worked with another enfant terrible director Amat Escalante on the film The Untamed. Claro´s cinematography work is a staggering demonstration of his flexibility and craftsmanship.