R.I.P. Gordon Willis


Yesterday, the great Gordon Willis died at the age of 82. As the news rolled in earlier today, no doubt that the world of film–and the world in general–began to face the tragedy that it had lost such a revolutionary and outstanding cinematographer. The Academy noted rather accurately, upon presenting his Honorary Award in 2009, that the man bears a strong “willingness to fly in the face of convention.” Known as “The Prince of Darkness” by many, Willis’s remarkable techniques were a major and often under appreciated part of what rectified movies like The Godfather and Annie Hall as masterpieces. I don’t know what else to say, other than I’m shocked, and he is certainly missed. May he rest in peace.


5 thoughts on “R.I.P. Gordon Willis

    • Have you seen Interiors? I just watched that last night in memory of him and he really captures the whole harrowing atmosphere here of that movie. I’d say it’s his best cinematography overall, but that probably requires me evaluating the entire Godfather trilogy for a third time.

      He certainly did break new ground with The a Godfather though. An article in the Associated Press mentions how much people hated his idea of obscuring Don Corleone’s face (I believe it was Vito). Turns out that enhanced the movie’s effect.

      I’ll confess that while Willis isn’t quite my favorite DP, he’s really the one that makes us all realize how important cinematography actually is in movies.

      Sent from my iPhone


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