The final episode of The Sopranos [IMDB info] certainly caused a lot of controversy from its impassioned fans with how their beloved series ended (I’m assuming that everyone’s seen it). I find it to be a huge credit to David Chase [IMDB info] to be able to evoke such reactions from his creation. Stephen Pizzello, American Cinematographer Magazine‘s executive editor, interviewed the man who shot that last episode: Russian-born cinematographer, Alik Sakharov, ASC [IMDB info]. Sakharov reveals that the ending had specific influences from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey [IMDB info] and Coppola’s The Godfather [IMDB info]. He also diffuses the rumor that there were alternate endings shot.
Here are some of the highlights from the Alik Sakharov interview podcast:
…We did not shoot several different endings…to me, it was apparent that he [Chase] was striving for one end.
…It’s not about if he’s [Tony Soprano] dead or alive. What’s important is the process…everyone will have its own interpretation.
…Does he [Tony Soprano] die? To me personally, this person will die. Whether he dies next second or six months or six years…What’s the point? What’s the difference? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that your mind is engaged and you need to be thinking about it…and hopefully by thinking about it, you’ll retrace not only this particular episode, but the entire show.
You can hear the entire two-part interview Podcast on American Cinematographer Magazine‘s official website [here].