Professional life

Death of Jacques Perrin, actor, producer and director
13 July 1941 – 21 April 2022

Jacques Perrin

An actor, and then later on an activist producer and director, Jacques Perrin’s career as a cinematographer did not follow the beaten path. Although born into the profession, he forged an original and demanding path for himself, and confronted the most improbable challenges and stakes with audacity and tenacity, believing that his only talent was “knowing how to bring together talented people”. Those who participated in his films will remember, amongst his other qualities, his kindness, his courage, his obstinacy, his confidence, and the respect he showed them.

Jacques Perrin, a critical encounter
By Patrick Blossier, AFC

Jacques Perrin

All of us have a fairy godfather or godmother who brought us into the tight-knit world of the cinema. Meeting Jacques Perrin was decisive for me, and he introduced me to many other people. He was looking for a camera assistant to work with Luciano Tovoli on the first and only film by Marc Grünbaum that he produced, Adoption. The year was 1979, I was finally about to work on an ambitious feature film with a talented cinematographer.

Jacques Perrin, the freest producer of them all
By Dominique Gentil, AFC

Jacques Perrin

As we were shooting Winged Migration, we were desperately looking for the right solution to shoot the particular flight patterns of cranes, who make huge detours around thermal currents. I had suggested we use an Aaton A-Minima 16mm camera to make the work easier for the cameraman who was strapped into the harness of a paraglider. Jacques Perrin’s response was sharp: “Dominique, we are shooting a cinema film in 35mm.”

Letter to Jacques Perrin
By Thierry Machado, AFC

Jacques Perrin

Jacques,
It is hard to summarize thirty-five years of conversations in just a few lines. What I know is that you had a special relationship with each of us; that was your strength. You were able to raise an army of filmmakers to conquer your follies, you were able to make us believe that nothing was as important as the cinema and that only poetry gave meaning to life.

Jacques Perrin has left us…
By Eric Guichard, AFC

Jacques Perrin

Jacques, you’ve gone and joined your partner and our mutual friend Luc Drion, who had left us much too soon, and I am sure that both of you will have impassioned discussions while you watch us muddling about during these difficult times for cinema, for politics, and for the future of planet Earth.

Halyna Hutchins passed away in the midst of her work as a cinematographer

In memory of

The cinematography world is in mourning as a result of the death of Halyna Hutchins, a cinematographer originally from Ukraine, which occurred on Thursday 21 October 2021, at the age of 42, on the set of Joel Souza’s western film Rust, in New Mexico (USA). A rising star with a promising talent and a warm personality, her work had been noticed on Pollyanna McIntosh’s Darlin’ (2019), Michael Nell’s Blindfire and Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Archenemy (2020). The AFC’s cinematographers send their condolences to her family and loved ones. May her memory live on!

Tribute to Jean Penzer
By Marc Salomon, consulting member of the AFC

Jean Penzer

Born on 1st October 1927 at Livry-Gargan to parents of Russian birth. His father was born at Krisilo (today in Ukraine) and his mother at Vitebsk (today in Belarus). They met in Odessa before moving to France in 1911, where they were naturalized in 1928. Jean-Bernard Penzer studied cinema at the Vaugirard cinema school from 1945-1947 (same class as Jean Boffety, Pierre Tchernia, Georges Leclerc, René Mathelin and Georges Dufaux) before working as an assistant cameraman from 1947-1955.

Death of cinematographer Pascal Poucet

In memory of

We were saddened to learn of the death of cinematographer Pascal Poucet, which occurred on Friday 21 May2021 at the age of 73. Having frequented the art world his entire life, his cinematographic work took him far off of the beaten path and carefully followed the work of the artists he met, and some of whom he followed for a time.

Passing of Cinematographer Jean Penzer

Jean Penzer

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of cinematographer Jean Penzer, AFC, ASC, in Paris on 21 May 2021, at the age of 93. Trained at the Vaugirard school just after the War, he served as an assistant and worked on short films before beginning his career as a cinematographer in 1959, thanks to Philippe de Broca (Les Jeux de l’amour), with whom he worked on several different occasions, whilst also working with Alex Joffé, Philippe Labro, Bertrand Blier, Chantal Akerman, Jacques Demy, and others. He was a honorary member of the AFC from 2007, and he had received the César award for Best Cinematography in 1986 for On ne meurt que deux fois, by Jacques Deray.

Passing of Cinematographer Willy Kurant, AFC, ASC

Willy Kurant

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of cinematographer Willy Kurant, AFC, ASC, in Paris on Saturday, 1st May 2021, at the age of 88. Trained in the heyday of television reporting, he described himself as the “leader of the second group of the New Wave”. He was a daring and eclectic cinematographer whose career, in France and in the USA, lasted over sixty years. His work was recognized on films by directors as different as Agnès Varda, Jean-Luc Godard, Jerzy Skolimowski, Orson Welles, Serge Gainsbourg, Maurice Pialat, and Philippe Garrel in recent years.

Bertrand Tavernier’s Last Voyage

Bertrand Tavernier

With Bertrand Tavernier’s death on 25 March 2021 at the age of 79, the 7th Art lost the last member of its French branch of so-called “classic” filmmakers. A man with an unquenchable curiosity and an encyclopedic knowledge, he had made himself at home within cinema, where he enjoyed both making his films and living the different stages of his life. The camera operators, with whom he enjoyed sharing books and rare, forgotten finds from screens of all sorts – as well as with his other coworkers, friends or acquaintances – were, according to this director, his allies.

Letter to Bertrand Tavernier about the remastering of “L’Horloger de Saint-Paul”
By Pierre-William Glenn, AFC

Bertrand Tavernier

In late January 2015, cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn, AFC, was asked to take over the color grading process of Bertrand Tavernier’s L’Horloger de Saint-Paul at Laboratoires Éclair, in advance of the release of a Blu-Ray DVD version two months later. He’d sent his friend, the director, a letter, in which he shared his emotion at watching the film again and remembering the experience of shooting beside him. Here’s an excerpt…

What Bertrand Tavernier loved was the cinema!
By Alain Choquart, cinematographer and director

Bertrand Tavernier

Forty years ago, nearly to the day, shooting on Coup de torchon began. I was Pierre-William Glenn’s assistant cameraman. We’d just finished Alain Corneau’s Le Choix des armes, and, before that, Yves Boisset’s Allons z’enfants, on which I’d debuted as a second assistant. Three films without a single day of rest between the end of the shoot and the start of camera tests, and there I was, promoted to the operator for Tavernier’s film. I didn’t imagine the human, cinephile and professional adventure I was embarking upon.

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