Images from The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019) unless otherwise noted

For our September-October issue’s Inspired feature, I spoke with cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto about shooting The Irishman with Martin Scorsese. The two had worked together before on Silence and Wolf of Wall Street, and I was especially curious about how Prieto approached this film’s particular challenges and his conception of its complicated main character, hitman/fixer/Teamster leader Frank Sheeran. Like many audiences, he seemed still bowled over by the performances, but he also went into depth regarding the use of colors to emulate the looks of different eras and the workings of memory. He also had something to say about Peggy, Frank’s taciturn daughter, and her role in the structure of the drama. Here’s an unabridged version of our conversation.

How would you describe the story of The Irishman?

The story follows Frank…