January 3, 2016

We've Lost Two Great Cinematographers: Haskell Wexler & Vilmos Zsigmond

Haskell Wexler and Vilmos Zsigmond 2
Two of the greatest directors of photography in cinema history have died recently: Haskell Wexler, ASC & Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC. 

Wexler was famous for movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Bound for Glory, and won Oscars for the latter two films, after being nominated for a total of five over his extensive career. Wexler was also known for a movement and documentary called Who Needs Sleep?, which argued for more reasonable work hours on set limited to 12 hours on and 12 hours off. You can watch that documentary here:

And here's Wexler talking about the changing role of the cinematographer:

Vilmos Zsigmond had a difficult start to his career, fleeing Hungary after the Russians invaded in 1956. He shot American classics like McCabe & Mrs. MillerThe Deer Hunter, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, for which he won an Academy Award. During his long career he was nominated for a total of four Oscars. He was also known for the film Heaven's Gate which was initially panned but has seen a resurgence recently. Here's Zsigmond with some great advice for aspiring DPs:

Zsigmond was 85, and Wexler was 93, and both were still shooting projects until their passing in the last week.     

Your Comment

5 Comments

I just made a little tribute video to Zsigmond as he was one of my all time favorite cinematographers.

https://vimeo.com/150624595

January 3, 2016 at 5:11PM, Edited January 3, 5:11PM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
582

If you have not seen the 2006 Documentary " Cinematographer Style " than you need to watch it! These two men are both in it. Its a very encouraging documentary on Cinematography.

R.I.P to both. They just don't make'em like they used to.

January 3, 2016 at 6:53PM, Edited January 3, 6:53PM

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RIP Zsigmond, a difficult man but great artist and professional.

January 3, 2016 at 7:39PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1493

His name is Zsigmond Vilmos!

January 4, 2016 at 6:53AM, Edited January 4, 6:53AM

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Csonka Olivér
Wannabe anyone
300

There's a great documentary about Vilmos' work called No Subtitles Necessary that covers all his classic films. Totally worth checking out.

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/nosubtitlesnecessary

January 4, 2016 at 2:46PM, Edited January 4, 2:46PM

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Sean Flanagan
Writer, Film Distribution
74