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Gregg Toland, cinematographer extraordinaire, literally changed how we look at films. In 1930s and ‘40s, he rejected the Hollywood photographic conventions and created his own. He believed films should be seen as we see life, with everything in our sight in focus. Instead of lighting sets from above, he lit from below, enabling the room’s ceiling (which he often constructed with muslin) be visible. He used strong lights, usually reserved for Technicolor films, to ensure every plane in the shot remain in focus, as well as coated his camera’s lenses to increase the image’s clarity. With every onscreen character in focus, audiences could for the first time be discriminating and select who, or what, to zero in on, as if they were in the same room. Films that utilized these techniques, such as Ford’s The Long Journey Home (1940) and Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941), accentuated their bleak subject matter. But in 1946, with Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives, Toland’s bravura techniques added immeasurable warmth and intimacy to the film. It’s probably the finest example of these techniques, which at first were considered ‘harsh’, to depict the most sublime tenderness.