Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In Memory - Gordon Willis

Master cinematographer Gordon Willis' work propelled the narratives of many films from the 1970's and the society that they embraced. Three films that he shot — Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” (1972) and “The Godfather Part II” (1974) and Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” (1977) — won the Academy Award for best picture. Cinematographer Conrad Hall called Mr. Willis “the prince of darkness” for his use of minimalist light and embrace of shadows in Marlon Brando's Don Corleone and Woody Allen's beloved Manhattan.  Some of his other films include Zelig, Purple Rose of Cairo, Parallax View, All the President's Men, and Bad Company.
Mr. Willis grew up in Queens, New York, the child of former Broadway dancers. He grew up loving movies and wanting to be an actor, but after performing in some summer stock productions, gravitated toward stage design, theater lighting and ultimately photography. 
Gordon Wills died on Sunday  at his home in North Falmouth, Massachusetts. He was 82.


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