The Godfather Cinematographer Gordon Willis!
Gordon Willis, the cinematographer on films including the Godfather trilogy, has died at the age of 82.
Willis received an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 2010 and was nominated for his work on Woody Allen’s Zelig and The Godfather: Part III.
“This is a momentous loss,” the president of the American Society of Cinematographers, Richard Crudo, told Deadline Hollywood.
“He was one of the giants who changed the way movies looked,” he added.
Willis was known in the industry as ‘the prince of darkness’, due to his unique lighting technique which created lots of shadows.
He was renowned for his striking imagery in films such as Allen’s Manhattan – he made eight films with the director – and All the President’s Men.
He was also the cinematographer on Alan J. Pakula’s Klute, for which Jane Fonda won her first Oscar.
Willis worked on several other Pakula thrillers including The Devil’s Own, his final film in 1997, which was also Pakula’s last directorial outing.
US author Bret Easton Ellis tweeted: “America’s greatest cinematographer GORDON WILLIS: RIP.”
Chris McQuarrie, who won best screenplay for The Usual Suspects, also paid tribute: “No one showed more with less.”
Girls writer and actress Lena Dunham wrote: “May we always view the world as if through his lens.”
Willis was born in New York, where his father worked as a make-up artist for Warner Bros.
He was initially attracted to acting before turning to photography, which he studied while in the Air Force during the Korean War.
After leaving the army, he became an assistant cameraman and then first cameraman.
His first film was comedy drama End of the Road in 1970.