Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 25

Happy Birthday to the Prince of Darkness, Peter Suschitzky. This second-generation cinematographer (his father was camera operator for the original 'Get Carter') got his nickname for pulling off scenes such as the Luke/Vader duel in 'Empire Strikes Back':

Suschitzky's the first cinematographer I learned to associate with a film, with the help of a hundred shouting fans. His first Hollywood film was the 1975 cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and his name in the opening credits has spawned a popular callback. He also shot a good looking film:

(This is a enjoyable shot scene, fourth wall broken and all. I'd intentionally left it off the Tim Curry tribute, but didn't realize I'd get the chance to use it again...)

His "Empire" work put him on the radar of David Cronenberg, who lost his long-time cinematographer to the 80's remake of 'The Blob'. Cronenberg tapped Suschitzky for "Dead Ringers", the beginning of a collaboration that's lasted over 20 years and 8 films. Here's a scene from the underappreciated eXsistenZ (recommended Not Safe For Work... or within an hour of eating...)

Their next team-up, a sequel to Eastern Promises, is scheduled for release in 2011. Besides Cronenberg, Suschitzky's also worked with John Boorman(Where the Heart Is), Tim Burton(Mars Attacks!) and Randall Wallace(The Man in the Iron Mask).

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