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Spielberg's cinematographer creates 11 short films with Hollywood's best

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Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski has directed 11 original short films for The New York Times Magazine's movies issue, each starring a well-known actor or actress and each lasting roughly a minute in length. In spite of their brevity, these vignettes, as Kaminski himself describes them, convey a delightful sense of his filmmaking expertise while stimulating the viewer's imagination to construct the full story arcs that are only hinted at. There's great variety in genre — from Robert Redford's comedically over-the-top breakfast preparation to Forest Whitaker's poignant case of writer's block, we're taken on a whirlwind tour of the finest traditions of cinematography.

The New York Times Magazine is doing this mini project as a celebration of the particular actors' work, identifying them as the best performers over this past year. Choosing Kaminski to direct them appears to have been an inspired, although not particularly difficult choice: his résumé is littered with visually arresting classics like Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, and Minority Report. Outside of his long-term collaboration with Steven Spielberg, Kaminski was also cinematographer for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a beautifully shot if somewhat harrowing study of one man's struggle with paralysis.