Who is Matthew Libatique, the Fil-Am cinematographer of ‘A Star Is Born?’

Who is Matthew Libatique, the Fil-Am cinematographer of  ‘A Star Is Born?’
The Oscar-nominated cinematographer used the first-person perspective to bring the critically-acclaimed film even more to life

MANILA, Philippines – The talented eyes behind the raved-about romantic drama A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, belong to one of our very own – Filipino-American cinematographer Matthew Libatique, the film’s director of photographer.

Working hand-in-hand with director Bradley Cooper, Matthew wanted to ensure the raw, passionate and authentic depiction of both artists’ souls on screen by using the cinematic style of a first-person perspective.

THE FILM'S DYNAMIC DUO. Both Cooper and Libatique wanted viewers to truly feel like they were one with the characters. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Both director and cinematographer chose to film all performance sequences from the perspective of the performers – meaning the singers’ and musicians’ immediate POV and onstage interactions with each other. There were no wide shots from the audience perspective; the lens would live inside the performance, so that the audience could almost feel like they were really one with the artists, according to a press release from Warner Bros. 

“He’s an artist,” Cooper said.

“I got to meet him through Darren Aronofsky, who he has done many films with, and we hit it off right away.  I told him we wouldn’t have a lot of days and we’d be moving fast, here’s the color palette I see, here’s a little about the opening composition, and he just got it.”

Even lead actress Lady Gaga couldn’t help but gush about the talented Libatique.

Matthew is brilliant at what he does. He and Bradley work brilliantly together.  There was not a moment when we were on set filming a scene when I was thinking, oh, how do I look and can I check the cameras? I was always just trusting them,” she said.

This, of course, isn’t Matthew’s first major Hollywood gig – this Oscar-nominated, Filipino-American cinematic artist also worked on Black Swan, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination.

For the same movie, he also received acclaim from the New York Film Critics’ and Los Angeles Film Critics’ awards, plus an Independent Spirit Award and nominations from BAFTA and The American Society of Cinematographers.


He was also the Director of Photography for Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, Noah, Black Swan and, most recently, mother! 

His other feature film credits include Venom for Ruben Fleischer; Straight Outta Compton for F. Gary Gray; Gothika for Mathieu Kassovitz; Everything Is Illuminated for Live Schreiber; and Ruby Sparks for directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.  A Star is Bornmarks his first collaboration with director Bradley Cooper.

With a total of 35 nominations and 12 awards to his name so far, it’s no doubt that Matthew Libatique is a cinematic force to be reckoned with. 

A Star Is Born will be released in cinemas nationwide on Wednesday, October 10. -Rappler.com

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