Sad to hear of the death of Gordon Willis. I don’t know a whole lot about the world of cinema’s “Prince of Darkness” but the way he used shadows, the way he framed films – he played a big part in my life.
Known for The Godfather – and for a great run of films with Woody Allen, to pick one you’d name Manhattan (but he was involved with so many great Woody film including Annie Hall, Interiors, Stardust Memories and The Purple Rose of Cairo) Willis gained a reputation as one of the key cinematographers; a man who framed up the 1970s, who gave us the view, he grit, the darkness, the view from the shadows.
He directed a film – Windows – and knew it was a mistake. His skill was as a cinematographer.
And for all of the great work he did in the 1970s – add The Landlord, Klute, and All The President’s Men to the list – he also helped to make one of the great films of the 1980s, certainly one of the best looking films of the 1980s – Bright Lights, Big City.
He was 82. He was very near to his 83rd birthday. He’s one of the legends of cinema – one of the reasons I love to look at movies, one of the reasons the look of so many films was so lovely.