Matthew Libatique

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Matthew Libatíque
Matthew Libatique 2011.jpg
Libatique in 2011
Matthew José Libatíque

(1968-07-19) July 19, 1968 (age 52)
Other namesMatty Libatíque
Alma mater California State University
AFI Conservatory
Years active1993–present
Awards Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
2001 Requiem for a Dream
2011 Black Swan

Matthew Libatíque (born July 19, 1968) is an American cinematographer who is known for his work with director Darren Aronofsky on the films Pi (1998), Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Fountain (2006), Black Swan (2010), Noah (2014) and Mother! (2017). He also shot Bradley Cooper's directorial debut film, A Star Is Born (2018), which received critical acclaim.


Early life and education

Matthew Libatíque was born in Elmhurst, Queens, New York City, [1] to Georgina (née José) and Justiniáno Libatíque. [2] Libatíque's father died when his son was 25 years old. [1] Although an American by birth, Libatique said he acknowledges his Philippine heritage and is conversant in Tagalog. Libatíque is of French ancestry on his paternal side. [2]

Libatique studied sociology and communications at California State University, Fullerton before earning a MFA in cinematography at AFI Conservatory. [3] He became interested in photography when his father, an amateur photographer who worked at a film laboratory in New York, had gifted him a Nikon camera when he was a child. "He taught me the fundamentals of photography at an age when I didn't realize I would spend the rest of my life using them," Libatique recalls. [2]


Libatíque served as director of photography for music videos and teamed with fellow AFI alumnus Aronofsky for the short film Protozoa. The two collaborated on the first three of Aronofsky's feature films. Other frequent collaborators are Julie Dash (music videos including Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason"), Spike Lee ( She Hate Me , Inside Man and Miracle at St. Anna ), Joel Schumacher ( Tigerland , Phone Booth and The Number 23 ), and Jon Favreau ( Iron Man , Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens ).

Libatíque's notable films include blockbusters such as Iron Man and Iron Man 2. In 2010, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Black Swan , for which he won his second Independent Spirit award. He has also won best cinematography awards at the LA Film Critics Association, NY Film Critics Online, SF Film Critics, among many others.

Libatique discussed the importance of working closely with a director on a Cinematographer Roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter, revealing: “The main thing is that you (both cinematographer and director) have the same goal and are telling the same story. Going into preparation you really need to be on the same page. Conflicts may arise when there’s a miscommunication about what’s important in a scene. So, it’s really important to listen...The director can (understandably) get pulled in a lot of different directions in prep. We, cinematographers are sort of guarding the gate of filmmaking, amongst all the other things that are happening.” [4]

In addition to guarding the filmmaking gate, he also says of his process: “I’d like to think each film is custom made. The director obviously dictates the approach that I have because everybody has a different working style. Some people want to talk intensely and visually about shots. Some don’t talk much at all. They concentrate more on the performances and they give you a broad idea of what they want the film to look like. So my first approach is to evaluate them, which may start in the interview process. But you also learn in preparation, as much as you can about the director. And that informs how I prepare in pre-production. If I’m lucky I can shape a visual language off some kind of inspiration. But the director definitely dictates how I do it.” [5]

2018 arrest

In November 14, 2018, Libatíque was arrested on suspicion of assault for allegedly attacking paramedics and police at a hotel in Bydgoszcz, Poland. [6] Libatíque was attending Camerimage at the time. He was released without a fine or charges. [7] In November 2020, a trial for Libatique was set to begin in February 2021. Libatique admitted to drinking but claimed to have been unknowingly drugged, with no memory of the alleged encounter. [8]



Dagger-14-plain.pngDenotes films that have not yet been released
1993Protozoa Darren Aronofsky Short film
1994The BedroomDavid Crabtree
1998 Pi Darren AronofskyNominated– Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
2000 Requiem for a Dream Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematography
Tigerland Joel Schumacher
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Harry Elfont
Deborah Kaplan
2002 Abandon Stephen Gaghan
Phone Booth Joel Schumacher
2003 Gothika Mathieu Kassovitz
2004 She Hate Me Spike Lee
Never Die Alone Ernest R. Dickerson
2005 Everything Is Illuminated Liev Schreiber
2006 Inside Man Spike Lee
The Fountain Darren AronofskyNominated– Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
2007 The Number 23 Joel Schumacher
2008 Iron Man Jon Favreau
Miracle at St. Anna Spike Lee
2010 Black Swan Darren Aronofsky Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– ASC Award for Cinematography
Nominated– BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Iron Man 2 Jon Favreau
My Own Love Song Olivier Dahan
2011 Cowboys & Aliens Jon Favreau
2012 Ruby Sparks Jonathan Dayton
Valerie Faris
2014 Noah Darren Aronofsky
2015 Straight Outta Compton F. Gary Gray
Chi-Raq Spike Lee
2016 Money Monster Jodie Foster
Pelé: Birth of a Legend Jeff Zimbalist
Michael Zimbalist
2017 The Circle James Ponsoldt
Mother! Darren Aronofsky
2018 Venom Ruben Fleischer
A Star Is Born Bradley Cooper Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– ASC Award for Cinematography
Nominated– Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated– Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
2019 Native Son Rashid Johnson
2020 Wake Up Olivia Wilde Short Film
Birds of Prey Cathy Yan
The Prom Ryan Murphy
TBA Don't Worry Darling Dagger-14-plain.pngOlivia WildePost-production
TBA The Whale Dagger-14-plain.pngDarren AronofskyPost-production

Music videos

1996"Give Me One Reason" Tracy Chapman Julie Dash
"More Than One Way Home" Keb' Mo'
1997"In My Bed" Dru Hill Darren Grant
"Otherside of the Game" Erykah Badu Erykah Badu
"Rapper's Delight" Def Squad Steve Carr
"Luv 2 Luv U" Timbaland & Magoo Darren Grant
"Anytime" Brian McKnight
"All a Dream" Big Mike Daniel Zirilli
1998"Was It Something I Didn't Say" 98 Degrees Darren Grant
"Clock Strikes" Timbaland & Magoo Steve Carr
"No Worries" Hepcat Piper Ferguson
"Second Round K.O." Canibus Chris Robinson
"Westside" TQ Darren Grant
"The City Is Mine Jay-Z Steve Carr & Jay-Z
"What U See Is What U Get" Xzibit Gregory Dark
1999"Can I Get A..." Jay-Z Steve Carr
"My Favorite Girl" Dave Hollister
"Just My Imagination" The Cranberries Phil Harder
"Aisha" Death in Vegas Terry Richardson
"Bodyrock" Moby Steve Carr
"Get in Line" Barenaked Ladies Phil Harder
"Ooh La La" The Wiseguys Scott Bibo
"Lobster & Shrimp" Timbaland featuring Jay-Z Steve Carr
"Apollo Kids" Ghostface Killah Chris Robinson & Ghostface Killah
2000"Anything" Jay-Z Chris Robinson
"Dance Tonight" Lucy Pearl Darren Grant
"Got Beef" Tha Eastsidaz Chris Robinson
"Boyz-n-the-Hood" Dynamite Hack Evan Bernard
"Whatever" Ideal Darren Grant
"Stellar" Incubus Phil Harder
"New America" Bad Religion Evan Bernard
2001"Fool" Mansun Phil Harder
"Mad Season" Matchbox 20
"The Trees" Pulp
"Save Me" Remy Zero
"Goodbye" Jagged Edge Forest Whitaker
"Hate in Yo Eyes" Mack 10 Bille Woodruff
2002"Cold" Static-X Nathan Cox & Joe Hahn
"Symphony in X Major" Xzibit Joe Hahn
"Pitiful" Blindside Nathan Cox
"Dem Girlz" Oxide & Neutrino
2004"alt.end" The Cure The Saline Project
"Taking Off" The Cure
2008"The Lake" Muscles Jaron Albertin
2011"The View" Lou Reed and Metallica Darren Aronofsky
2013"Suit & Tie" Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z David Fincher
"Mirrors" Justin Timberlake Floria Sigismondi
2016"Needed Me" Rihanna Harmony Korine

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  1. 1 2 Neumaier, Joe (February 21, 2011). "Oscars 2011: 'Black Swan' cinematographer Matthew Libatique gave Natalie Portman film feminine feel". New York Daily News . Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 Nepales, Ruben V. (February 28, 2011). "On eve of Oscars, Fil-Am wins". The Philippine Star.
  4. “Cinematographer Roundtable: Short Cuts With Linus Sandgren, Matthew Libatique & Chayse Irvin | THR” The Hollywood Reporter, 7 January 2019
  5. “The cinematography of A Star is Born: Matthew Libatique Case Study” CookeOpticsTV, 14 February 2019
  6. "Fil-Am cinematographer Matthew Libatique charged with assault". Rappler. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  8. Buckley, Cara; Magdziarz, Anatol (November 23, 2020). "A Film Festival in Poland Feted His Work. Now He May Face Prison There". The New York Times .