William Lubtchansky

Arguably the greatest living cinematographer, who worked with Jacques Rivette, Straub/Huillet, Godard, Claude Lanzmann, and many more, William Lubtchansky has died at age 72. It's impossible to overlook the particularities of his work: he never shot a project too commercial and he was extremely adaptive. The inky black and white images for Philippe Garrel's Regular Lovers or Straub/Huillet's Class Relations; the lush, sun-baked color of Godard's Nouvelle Vague; the subtle, somber, desaturated Shoah; the theatrical, surrealist, and modernist touch to each of his collaborations with Rivette: Every shift to each maker distinct and elastic. Entirely the work of an author, facilitating the vision of his collaborators.

Tracking shot from Noroît from Film Brain on Vimeo.

Garrel stated that "we (William Lubtchansky) worked together like musicians, really: we had dialogues, like a jazz band that keeps improvising on what had been written. Whoever felt like playing, played first." This type of collaboration is all but lost in cinema. An immense loss of an idiosyncratic, irreplaceable figure.

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