Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' Watch: New Trailer For ‘Kingsman: Secret Service’ Starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson & Taron Egerton Star Watch: New Trailer For ‘Kingsman: Secret Service’ Starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson & Taron Egerton Star Chilly New Banner For Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Explores A Cold New World Chilly New Banner For Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Explores A Cold New World 15 Films That Failed To Hit The 2014 Fall Festival Circuit 15 Films That Failed To Hit The 2014 Fall Festival Circuit Watch: Steven Soderbergh Re-Scores And Changes Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' To Black-And-White Watch: Steven Soderbergh Re-Scores And Changes Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' To Black-And-White Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack First, Mostly Rave Reviews Arrive For David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' First, Mostly Rave Reviews Arrive For David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

R.I.P. Cinematographer Gordon Willis (1931–2014)

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 19, 2014 at 8:16AM

Gordon Willis, one of cinema's most influential eyes and visual masters who defined the work of an entire generation of filmmakers, passed away over the weekend at the age of 82. But his body of work will forever inspire filmmakers.
1
Gordon Willis Woody Allen

Gordon Willis, one of cinema's most influential eyes and visual masters who defined the work of an entire generation of filmmakers, passed away over the weekend at the age of 82. But his body of work will forever inspire filmmakers.

The most remarkable thing about Willis' filmography is that it's only 37 films long. However, the highlights are utterly remarkable: Alan J. Pakula's "Klute" and "All The President's Men"; Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" trilogy; eight films with Woody Allen including "Annie Hall," "Manhattan," "Interiors" and "Zelig," and Hal Ashby's "The Landlord" are just some of the movies that will play on Willis' sizzle reel. And they all show the versatility that made the cinematographer one of the best the medium has ever seen. From the cool control of "Klute" to the shrouded, nearly majestic darkness of "The Godfather" to the beautifully black-and-white "Manhattan," Willis' greatest gift was in collaborating with the filmmakers he worked with on evoking that intangible mood for each of their pictures.

"You have to understand: I did things in visual structure that nobody in the business was doing, especially in Hollywood. I wasn't trying to be different; I just did what I liked. Don't misunderstand when I say I really had no particular DP I was aspiring to be," Willis told Splice Today in 2009. "I really fell in love with the movies as I was growing up, and I must say, I was emulating things that I saw others doing, that’s how you learn, but you soon have to push past that, and do things that you feel are right…or better."

Willis' last credit was on Pakula's 1997 film "The Devil's Own," after which, due to his failing eyesight, the cinematographer stepped away from film sets. But he couldn't have asked for a better legacy to leave behind, helping to put his creative stamp on films that not only defined an era, but American cinema as a whole. He will be missed, but his work will endure. Check out interviews, clips and more below. [Variety]

This article is related to: Gordon Willis


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates