Monday, July 23, 2007

Lazlo Kovacs, RIP


I just read that Lazlo Kovacs passed away today at 74, the same age as my father.

His work as a Cinematographer had a profound influence on me as did his friend Vilmos Zsigmond's.

My first day at the NYU Intensive Filmmaking course in the Summer of 1986, I went to the NYU bookstore and bought all the books (that I could afford) on lighting and cinematography, since that's what I was "going to school for."

I still have my copy of "Masters of Light" which I do refer to on occasion, because you can always learn something, especially from the masters.

On page 192, Mr. Kovacs says:

"I always felt that if you really believed that film was a form of art, then black-and-white was one way of expressing your art. Black-and-white does create a certain kind of abstraction visually. Even today, I always light color like it was black-and white for separation and creating depth."

Something I've never forgotten and something I learned that Summer, but actually applied it many years later.

He's also part of the amazing documentary "Visions of Light" which I highly recommend.

Mr. Kovacs was one of the good guys - one of the really good guys.

Some of his notable films:

- Say Anything... (1989)
- Little Nikita (1988)
- Mask (1985)
- Ghost Busters (1984)
- Frances (1982)
- Inside Moves (1980
- Heart Beat (1980)
- Paradise Alley (1978)
- The Last Waltz (1978)
- F.I.S.T (1978)
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
- New York, New York (1977)
- Nickelodeon (1976)
- Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976)
- Shampoo (1975)
- Freebie and the Bean (1974)
- Paper Moon (1973)
- Slither (1973)
- The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
- What's Up, Doc? (1972)
- The Last Movie (1971)
- Five Easy Pieces (1970)
- The Rebel Rousers (1970)
- Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)
- Easy Rider (1969)
- Targets (1968)
- Hells Angels on Wheels (1967)

ps - my stomach is KILLING ME from all of the barium sulfate I drank for my CT Scan, but I am getting the images on CD-ROM this week! Maybe I should rename this fucker "Inside James M. Graham" although, for the record, I'm about done with all this prodding and probing...

3 comments:

bt said...

Damn James..we need to swap "war" stories. Remind me to tell you in detail of my Thrombosed Hemorrhoid surgery while I was in the Marine Corps 23 years ago...picture this...on all 4s...shaved ass cheeks TAPED OPEN to the table..as the Dr. explains my situation to a group of Corpsmen (some of which were not MEN)...all the time they are looking at my hairy brown eye (with HUGE thrombosed hemorrhoid orbiting my sphincter)..and ever shrinking Mr Happy and his 2 bald headed friends dangling below (stage fright I assume). And the subsequent week long pain treatment with Tylenol3 with codeine (and their LOVELY constipation effect..do the math on that...5 days and no bowel movement...right after major Hemorrhoid surgery...I made promises to God that I CAN NEVER keep once nature took its course).

Ahh..memories..but at least I am a "perfect" asshole now.

I feel your pain James...
bt charles

Chip said...

egads man.
Between your ongoing delmina and BT's disturbing experience... man... I think I may have nightmares.

Thing is though, it is all treatable right? Remember my experience two and one years ago this time. Scary shit, but thankful for today and every other and the message is to live.

Really I wanted to say "mmmmm Barium Sulfate.....mmmm aaarrrggggghhhhhmmmmmm....."
Homer would love the stuff.

ps. I think I have an ulcer or 2 from this weeks adventure. Some great experiences and lessons learned.

Toby Roan said...

"Harry And Waler Go To New York" is really not a very good movie, though I like it a lot. But the cinematography in it always blew me away, even as a 12 year old seeing it in the theater. More than any movie I can remember, you really believe you're in a world lit by candles and gaslights. And that's all Lazlo.

Of course, "Slither" is one of my all-time favorites.