Light, Camera, Aesthetics! Journey with me through film aesthetics as we analyze their cinematography and genres. 

I began making this list of films because I love to study cinematography in film in hopes to recreate shots with my own camera. But I found while researching that they all seem to fall under a certain category of one of the popular aesthetics. I made a blog three years ago discussing the revival of aesthetic trends in 2020. This time I will be analyzing those same aesthetics through a cinematic lens. 

*NOTE: cover image scene is from Memoria (2021)

Shout out to Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Christopher Doyle, Atsushi Okui, Roger Deakins for creating some of the most visually stimulating experiences put to screen. I’ve also linked to their film grabs so you can see their work.

ethereal, dream-like aesthetic

What a better place to start then with the ethereal aesthetic. Most of the cinematography that we consider to be the most “aesthetic” are those that are beautiful. Each of these films are filled with scenes that feel like a painting. The first film on the list is a little bit too literal haha.

Honorable Mentions: 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Amelie (2001)

Mood Indigo (2013)

Memoria (2021)

Fallen Angels (1995)

fairytale aesthetic 

The fantasy film genre is known for some of the most magical scenes in all of storytelling. From the mysterious green forests, to locked doors opening a brand new world. Here I have listed eight films that feel the most like a fairytale to me:

Honorable Mentions: 

Stardust (2007)

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

neon cyberpunk (sci-fi retro futurism)

I couldn’t make this list with at least mentioning Blade Runner or Metropolis, both staples in the science fiction genre. Although I do love the first Blade Runner film, the sequel deserves all the praise it gets from its cinematography alone. Here are eight films for the neon cyberpunk aesthetic:

Honorable Mentions: 

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Total Recall (1990)

retro aesthetic (1920s jazz age) 

Finally, we have arrived at the retro aesthetic. It’s pretty easy to make something worthwhile and timeless when your inspiration comes from the past. Personally, one of the best and most extravagant decades in America has to be the jazz age.  Here are eight films that are heavily inspired by the roaring twenties: 

Honorable Mentions: 

Some Like It Hot (1959)


Currently I have plans to make a cottagecore aesthetic, steampunk theme, gothic horror, western, and rococo. But with school starting this week, it might be hard to get them all out on time, so I hope you enjoy these four aesthetics in the meanwhile.  

Thank you so much for reading! Comment down below if you would want to see any of those aesthetics or list any other film aesthetics you’d want me to create.

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