Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Shooting Kinski: Bernard Lutic
The absolute highlight of the poorly scripted and blandly directed REVOLUTION is the beautiful photography by frequent Eric Rohmer cinematography Bernard Lutic. For all of its failings, REVOLUTION is never less than gorgeously shot and the late Lutic’s work in it is worth celebrating.
Lutic, a lifetime photographer, came to the world of cinematography a bit later than most as he was already nearing his forties when he shot his first film, 1979’s I’VE GOT YOU, YOU’VE GOT ME BY THE CHIN HAIRS. Born in France during the tail end of World War Two, the talented Lutic’s career would really kick into gear just a couple of years after his debut when he first collaborated with legendary French auteur Eric Rohmer on the wonderful THE AVIATOR’S WIFE (1981).
Lutic’s first work as Rohmer’s cinematographer was just the beginning of a very rewarding and fruitful collaboration that would continue throughout the eighties. Key films that resulted from the partnership were A GOOD MARRIAGE (1982), and BOYFRIEND’S AND GIRLFRIENDS (1987). Lutic marked himself with Rohmer as a very down to earth and intelligent photographer who was able to take sometimes mundane and neutral settings and turn them into often something extraordinary. The films he shot for Rohmer remain some of the best and most memorable of the eighties.
Lutic’s other key collaborator after Rohmer would turn out to be REVOLUTION director Hugh Hudson. Academy Award winning Hudson is of course capable of making good films and he and Lutic would score some well deserved recognition for 1999’s MY LIFE SO FAR, a film that remains one of the fallen director’s finest. Less successful was their follow up production, 2000’s I DREAMED OF AFRICA.
Lutic was tragically killed in the late part of 2000 in a plane crash while scouting a film called THE RAID. His last completed work was the stunningly shot WINGED MIGRATION, a film that proved a wonderful closing point to his distinguished career. REVOLUTION would prove to be one of the most disappointing films Nastassja ever filmed, but at least she had another great photographer shooting her in it.