Matthew Libatique

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Matthew Libatique
Libatique in 2011
Born
Matthew José Libatique

(1968-07-19) July 19, 1968 (age 55)
Other namesMatty Libatique
Alma materCalifornia State University, Fullerton
AFI Conservatory
OccupationCinematographer
Years active1993–present
SpouseMary-Ellen Libatique
AwardsIndependent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
2001 Requiem for a Dream
2011 Black Swan

Matthew Libatique (born July 19, 1968) is an American cinematographer. He is best known for his collaborations with director Darren Aronofsky on the films Pi (1998), Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Fountain (2006), Black Swan (2010), Noah (2014), and Mother! (2017). Libatique has received three Academy Award for Best Cinematography nominations for his work on Black Swan (2010), A Star Is Born (2018), and Maestro (2023).

Early life and education[edit]

Matthew Libatique was born in Elmhurst, Queens, New York City,[1] to Filipino immigrant parents Georgina (née José) and Justiniáno Libatique. His father was from Dagupan, and his mother was from Lucena.[2]

Libatique studied sociology and communications at California State University, Fullerton, before earning an MFA in cinematography at AFI Conservatory.[3]

Career[edit]

Libatique served as director of photography for music videos and teamed with fellow AFI alumnus Aronofsky for the short film Protozoa. The two collaborated on the first three of Aronofsky's feature films. Other frequent collaborators are Julie Dash (music videos including Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason"), Spike Lee (She Hate Me, Inside Man and Miracle at St. Anna), Joel Schumacher (Tigerland, Phone Booth and The Number 23), and Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens).

Libatique's notable films include blockbusters such as Iron Man and Iron Man 2. In 2010, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Black Swan, for which he won his second Independent Spirit award. He has also won best cinematography awards at the LA Film Critics Association, NY Film Critics Online, SF Film Critics, among many others.

Libatique discussed the importance of working closely with a director on a Cinematographer Roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter, revealing: “The main thing is that you (both cinematographer and director) have the same goal and are telling the same story. Going into preparation you really need to be on the same page. Conflicts may arise when there’s a miscommunication about what’s important in a scene. So, it’s really important to listen...The director can (understandably) get pulled in a lot of different directions in prep. We, cinematographers are sort of guarding the gate of filmmaking, amongst all the other things that are happening.”[4]

In addition to guarding the filmmaking gate, he also says of his process: “I’d like to think each film is custom made. The director obviously dictates the approach that I have because everybody has a different working style. Some people want to talk intensely and visually about shots. Some don’t talk much at all. They concentrate more on the performances and they give you a broad idea of what they want the film to look like. So my first approach is to evaluate them, which may start in the interview process. But you also learn in preparation, as much as you can about the director. And that informs how I prepare in pre-production. If I’m lucky I can shape a visual language off some kind of inspiration. But the director definitely dictates how I do it.”[5]

2018 arrest[edit]

On November 14, 2018, Libatique was arrested on suspicion of assault for allegedly attacking paramedics and police at a hotel in Bydgoszcz, Poland.[6] Libatique was attending Camerimage at the time. He was released without a fine or charges.[7] In November 2020, a trial for Libatique was set to begin in February 2021. Libatique admitted to drinking but claimed to have been unknowingly drugged, with no memory of the alleged encounter.[8]

Filmography[edit]

Short film[edit]

Year Title Director
1993 Protozoa Darren Aronofsky
1994 The Bedroom David Crabtree
No Time Darren Aronofsky
2003 The Seventh Man Jason Liggett
2010 Despair Alex Prager
2012 La Petite Mort
2018 A Different Beyond Himself
2019 Play the Wind Alex Prager
2020 Wake Up Olivia Wilde

Feature film[edit]

Key
Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Director
1995 Redneck Shane Kuhn
Til Death Do Us Part Phil Leirness
1996 Grinders Gary Ellenberg
1998 Pi Darren Aronofsky
The Party Crashers Phil Leirness
1999 Saturn Rob Schmidt
2000 Requiem for a Dream Darren Aronofsky
Tigerland Joel Schumacher
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Harry Elfont
Deborah Kaplan
Cosmic Coffee Charles Wall
2002 Abandon Stephen Gaghan
Phone Booth Joel Schumacher
2003 Gothika Mathieu Kassovitz
2004 She Hate Me Spike Lee
Never Die Alone Ernest Dickerson
2005 Everything Is Illuminated Liev Schreiber
2006 Inside Man Spike Lee
The Fountain Darren Aronofsky
2007 The Number 23 Joel Schumacher
2008 Iron Man Jon Favreau
Miracle at St. Anna Spike Lee
2010 Black Swan Darren Aronofsky
Iron Man 2 Jon Favreau
My Own Love Song Olivier Dahan
2011 Cowboys & Aliens Jon Favreau
2012 Ruby Sparks Jonathan Dayton
Valerie Faris
2014 Noah Darren Aronofsky
2015 Straight Outta Compton F. Gary Gray
Chi-Raq Spike Lee
2016 Money Monster Jodie Foster
Pelé: Birth of a Legend Jeff Zimbalist
Michael Zimbalist
2017 The Circle James Ponsoldt
Mother! Darren Aronofsky
2018 Venom Ruben Fleischer
A Star Is Born Bradley Cooper
2019 Native Son Rashid Johnson
2020 Birds of Prey Cathy Yan
The Prom Ryan Murphy
2022 Don't Worry Darling Olivia Wilde
The Whale Darren Aronofsky
2023 Maestro Bradley Cooper
TBA High and Low Spike Lee

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Director
1996 "Give Me One Reason" Tracy Chapman Julie Dash
"More Than One Way Home" Keb' Mo'
1997 "In My Bed" Dru Hill Darren Grant
"Otherside of the Game" Erykah Badu Erykah Badu
"Rapper's Delight" Def Squad Steve Carr
"Luv 2 Luv U" Timbaland & Magoo Darren Grant
"Anytime" Brian McKnight
"All a Dream" Big Mike Daniel Zirilli
1998 "Was It Something I Didn't Say" 98 Degrees Darren Grant
"Clock Strikes" Timbaland & Magoo Steve Carr
"No Worries" Hepcat Piper Ferguson
"Second Round K.O." Canibus Chris Robinson
"Westside" TQ Darren Grant
"The City Is Mine" Jay-Z Steve Carr & Jay-Z
"What U See Is What U Get" Xzibit Gregory Dark
1999 "Can I Get A..." Jay-Z Steve Carr
"My Favorite Girl" Dave Hollister
"Just My Imagination" The Cranberries Phil Harder
"Aisha" Death in Vegas Terry Richardson
"Bodyrock" Moby Steve Carr
"Get in Line" Barenaked Ladies Phil Harder
"Ooh La La" The Wiseguys Scott Bibo
"Lobster & Shrimp" Timbaland featuring Jay-Z Steve Carr
"Apollo Kids" Ghostface Killah Chris Robinson & Ghostface Killah
2000 "Anything" Jay-Z Chris Robinson
"Dance Tonight" Lucy Pearl Darren Grant
"Got Beef" Tha Eastsidaz Chris Robinson
"Boyz-n-the-Hood" Dynamite Hack Evan Bernard
"Whatever" Ideal Darren Grant
"Stellar" Incubus Phil Harder
"New America" Bad Religion Evan Bernard
2001 "Fool" Mansun Phil Harder
"Mad Season" Matchbox 20
"The Trees" Pulp
"Save Me" Remy Zero
"Goodbye" Jagged Edge Forest Whitaker
"Hate in Yo Eyes" Mack 10 Bille Woodruff
2002 "Cold" Static-X Nathan Cox & Joe Hahn
"Symphony in X Major" Xzibit Joe Hahn
"Pitiful" Blindside Nathan Cox
"Dem Girlz" Oxide & Neutrino
2003 "The Golden Path" The Chemical Brothers featuring The Flaming Lips Chris Milk
2004 "alt.end" The Cure The Saline Project
"Taking Off" The Cure
2008 "The Lake" Muscles Jaron Albertin
2011 "The View" Lou Reed and Metallica Darren Aronofsky
2013 "Suit & Tie" Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z David Fincher
"Mirrors" Justin Timberlake Floria Sigismondi
2016 "Needed Me" Rihanna Harmony Korine
2021 "I Bet You Think About Me" Taylor Swift Blake Lively

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards

Year Title Category Result
2010 Black Swan Best Cinematography Nominated
2018 A Star Is Born Nominated
2023 Maestro Nominated

BAFTA Awards

Year Title Category Result
2010 Black Swan Best Cinematography Nominated
2023 Maestro Nominated

American Society of Cinematographers

Year Title Category Result
2010 Black Swan Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography Nominated
2018 A Star Is Born Nominated
2023 Maestro Nominated

Independent Spirit Awards

Year Title Category Result
1998 Pi Best Cinematography Nominated
2000 Requiem for a Dream Won
2010 Black Swan Won

Online Film Critics Society

Year Title Category Result
2000 Requiem for a Dream Best Cinematography Nominated
2006 The Fountain Nominated
2010 Black Swan Nominated

Boston Society of Film Critics

Year Title Category Result
2000 Requiem for a Dream Best Cinematography Nominated
2010 Black Swan Nominated

Chicago Film Critics Association

Year Title Category Result
2006 The Fountain Best Cinematography Nominated
2010 Black Swan Nominated

Satellite Awards

Year Title Category Result
2006 The Fountain Best Cinematography Nominated
2018 A Star Is Born Won
2023 Maestro Won

Critics' Choice Movie Awards

Year Title Category Result
2010 Black Swan Best Cinematography Nominated
2018 A Star Is Born Nominated
2023 Maestro Nominated

Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association

Year Title Category Result
2010 Black Swan Best Cinematography Nominated
2018 A Star Is Born Nominated
2023 Maestro Nominated

Other awards

Year Title Award/Nomination
2010 Black Swan Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematography
2018 A Star Is Born Nominated– St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neumaier, Joe (February 21, 2011). "Oscars 2011: 'Black Swan' cinematographer Matthew Libatique gave Natalie Portman film feminine feel". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Medina, Jun (February 4, 2011). "Pinoy on Best Cinematographer list". Manila Times. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  3. ^ "American Film Institute - AFI Conservatory". Archived from the original on August 29, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  4. ^ “Cinematographer Roundtable: Short Cuts With Linus Sandgren, Matthew Libatique & Chayse Irvin | THR” The Hollywood Reporter, 7 January 2019
  5. ^ “The cinematography of A Star is Born: Matthew Libatique Case Study” CookeOpticsTV, 14 February 2019
  6. ^ Rappler.com (November 15, 2018). "Fil-Am cinematographer Matthew Libatique charged with assault". Rappler. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  7. ^ "'Star is Born' Cinematographer Matthew Libatique Released Without Charge in Poland". November 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Buckley, Cara; Magdziarz, Anatol (November 23, 2020). "A Film Festival in Poland Feted His Work. Now He May Face Prison There". The New York Times.

External links[edit]