His filmography and background should make obvious that cinema suffered a great loss when Raoul Coutard passed away earlier this month, though the matter of not working for fifteen years may, for some, have a way of mitigating the event. (His death falling on election day didn’t exactly help, minus the opportunity to look at some pretty images during a grim time.) There also exists the ongoing, not-likely-to-ever-end debate about what a cinematographer does, and it’s particularly pronounced when his collaborations were with some of cinema’s greatest innovators. Where do genius and collaboration stand apart, and how might they be happy bedfellows?
A new, rather informative video essay by wolfcrow thus marks something of a gift for the curious mind, which is no doubt applicable to just about anybody who even bothered to click this link. Mixing critical analysis, historical insight — e.g. detailing the strategies that would allow various lighting schemes to function — and, of course, film clips, it proves a quick, easily digestible lesson in Coutard’s craft.
Have a look for yourself: