William Lubtchansky, 1937-2010

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05/06/2010 4:44 PM |

A still from Rivette and Lubtchanskys Love on the Ground
  • A still from Rivette and Lubtchansky’s Love on the Ground

Oh no, the cinematographer William Lubtchansky has died at his Paris home. Richard Brody brings the news across the Atlantic along with a personal recollection, a history of Lubtchansky’s career and collaborations, notably with the French New Wave and Jacques Rivette in particular—fittingly, his last credit was for the director’s autumnal Around a Small Mountain—and an assessment of his technically masterful, intellectually open-ended legacy.

I know Lubtchansky best through his recent sleek-gorgeous, grainy-intimate black-and-white work with Philippe Garrel—reviewing Frontier of Dawn, The L’s Nicolas Rapold appreciated how “high-contrast black-and-white… captures the sculpted curvature of [actress Laura] Smet’s face and angles in empty apartments,” which gets at the private, soulful beauty Lubtchansky was able to bring out of Garrel’s material. The two also collaborated on one of the most objectively beautiful movies of the past decade, Regular Lovers, which included, embedded after the jump, a clip which you absolutely must watch, and which feels as if it should probably stand as the last word on this image-maker’s career: