(Mangolte is both a cinematographer and a film-maker; this list is of only the films for which she is considered a director)
What Maisie Knew (1975), 58 minutes
(Now) or Maintenant entre parentheses (1976), 10 minutes
The Camera: Je or La Camera: I (1977), 88 minutes
Water Motor (1978), 9 minutes
There? Where? (1979), 8 minutes
The Cold Eye (My Darling be Careful) (1980), 90 minutes
The Sky on Location (1982), 78 minutes
Visible Cities (l99l), 3l minutes
Four Pieces by Morris (l993), 94 minutes
Mangolte Discusses The Sky on Location and light:
Light is a narrative device--it gives you time and it defines space. In the succession of shots, changes of color imply time.
The landscape is not seen in its postcardish grandeur as in Ansel Adams, nor through its shapes as in Cezanne or in Constable, but rather the film captures the mood of the landscape as in a Turner painting. The film attempts to construct a geography of the land from North to South, East to West, and season to season through colors instead of maps.
From the beginning the film (The Sky) was meant to be without any people at all. But after I saw the footage from the summer, I said, 'That's unbearable; I need once or twice to have an element of scale.' Because everything appeared to be at the same distance. Whether you use a telephoto shot of a mountain or a wide angle shot, you're always very far from the mountain, if you see it at all ... The space is so open that there is never any foreground to give you perspective. That's what fascinated me in the subject matter ... geography made visible through color and light. I discovered that the light shifts so radically that a certain element of drama is possible.
The Sky is not about nature as backdrop, but more about the idea of wilderness, which I've discovered is so ingrained in American culture, but totally bewildering for Europeans. I don't even know a French word you could use to translate the idea. I am Americanized enough now to identify with it. Traveling alone, or with one assistant, through those places helped me understand. Europe lost the sense of wilderness centuries ago. It's so much more crowded per square mile. There is no area which is not put to some use, and which is not crossed by many roads. Even the tops of the mountains are not really secluded. And you don't have that sense of space ....