In an 11.9 article for Jewish Daily Forward, Jonathan Rosenbaum takes exception to Janusz Kaminski‘s cinematography in Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln. “The obvious effort…to be mythical in almost every shot is far more rhetorical and hectoring than John Ford (or Sergei Eisenstein, for that matter) ever was, especially in terms of the lighting, which sinks this movie’s interiors into the darkest gloom imaginable, the abject condition that James Agee once described as rigor artis.

“Surely Lincoln and his cohorts didn’t experience their everyday surroundings as if they were silhouettes in a pretentiously underlighted art movie, but this Lincoln and these cohorts do. It’s obvious that some form of symbolism in which darkness equals slavery and light equals emancipation is at work here — so that the light pouring through the window of Lincoln’s office just after the House of Representatives passes the 13th Amendment is made to seem like some sort of divine orgasm.”