May 6, 2010


...we suffered a severe loss to the cinema today: William Lubtchansky died.

Reflections to come. Craig Keller has written a preliminary remembrance which, for him, needn't stretch back further than the morning before the great cinematographer's passing. And for me too, not a day goes by that I am not thinking of one or more of the films or videos that Lubtchansky shot: Ici et ailleurs, France/tour/détour/deux/enfants, Le Pont du Nord, Too Early, Too Late, Sicilia!, Les Amants réguliers, Itinéraire de Bricard. And there are 2, 3, 4 titles between each of these towering works that are, and will remain, part of daily operations.

Photo: Lubtchansky, Huillet and Straub shooting Klassenverhältnisse (CLASS RELATIONS) in Hamburg -- 1983 -- by Caroline Champetier. Below, Une visite au Louvre (2004, Huillet and Straub and Lubtchansky).


Ed Howard said...

Wow, truly a shame. He was an amazing cinematographer, and every film I've seen that he's shot has been just stunning. He brought a little something extra special to the work of some of the best French directors, particularly Godard and Rivette — two films you didn't mention that seem, to me, among his best, are the endless, gorgeous tracking shots of Nouvelle vague and the chilly austerity of Don't Touch the Axe. He'll be missed.

Andy Rector said...

Yes, and the way the interiors are illuminated, and how he can make the trees black in Nouvelle vague and the night scenes of Don't Touch the Axe...I agree these are among his best work, among the best works of motion picture photography, period!

josé neves said...

sad, very sad, and if not "the best", just because those categories are too much eliminatory, he had some of the most memorable images of contemporary cinema, which is, generally speaking, a huge loss in images and sounds - he knew how to make us look to his concrete visions, his images were as concrete as the idea(l) of the world could be.

Favourite works: « Sauve qui peut (la vie) » and « Klassenverhältnisse ».

p.s. in time, just give it to me, i’ll answer your mail, I’m just a little bit (too much) lost now. Hug!

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DavidEhrenstein said...

His daughter's work on Rivette's 36 vue du pic saint-loup is exemplary.