“Forgotten Hollywood”- Iconic Cinematographer Has Passed…

Posted on May 20, 2014 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… gordon willis

   Gordon Willis was the director of photography that defined the cinematic look of the 1970s. His work was groundbreaking in its use of low-light photography and underexposed film. He was best known for his work on Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather series, as well as Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. International Cinematographers Guild conducted a survey in 2003, placing Willis among the ten most influential cinematographers in history.        GORDON WILLIS ——>

   Nicknamed the Prince of Darkness, Willis captured America’s urban paranoia in his three films with Alan J. Pakula: Klute, The Parallax View, and All the President’s Men. His Deep-Throat shots in the latter movie added to the tense atmosphere of the scenes. Willis created the trope of warm ambers to denote a nostalgic past. This strategy could define the frailties of a movie character or a city’s gritty persona. Motion pictures, such as The Verdict and The Conversation, adapted his filming style of capturing the magic hour before twilight, when the sun is low, creating a golden glow.

Manhattan   Gordon Willis worked with Hal Ashby on The Landlord, James Bridges on The Paper Chase, and Herbert Ross on Pennies From Heaven. His most frequent collaborator was Woody Allen. Other productions he photographed include Manhattan, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Interiors, Stardust Memories, and Broadway Danny Rose.

   During a remarkable run from 1971 to 1977, films he worked on won 19 Oscars and were nominated for 39 Academy Awards, winning 19 times, including three awards for Best Picture. The fact that Willis didn’t receive a single nomination from this period has been ascribed that his work was ahead of its time. Willis was later nominated twice, once for his inventive recreation of 1920s photography in Woody Allen’s Zelig, and for The Godfather Part III. In 2009, at the inaugural Governors Awards, they chose Willis as the recipient of the Academy Honorary Award for his life’s work.

   A native of New York City, he was the son of a Warner Brothers makeup man. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, making training films.

   Gordon Willis was 82.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

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