Death of cinematographer Pascal Poucet

Contre-Champ AFC n°321

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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.

Born in Paris on 5 May 1948, Pascal Poucet had his beginnings in photography after meeting Robert Alazraki, AFC, while the latter was a photographer of theatre, opera and dance at the Aix-en-Provence and Avignon Festivals in the "Late Sixties" (1966-68). He became his assistant photographer and, on his own time, began to photograph painters such as Jacques Monory, Jean-Pierre Le Boul’ch, Peter Klazen, and poets like Frank Venaille and Pierre Tilman.

Later, he set up shop as a photographer in Aix-en-Provence and had his first job as a cinematographer on shoots of industrial and institutional films. In parallel to the artistic world, with which he never stopped being close, filmmakers began to call on him to direct the photography of several of their films.

In his atypical career and filmography, of particular note is his work with directors such as Christophe Blanc (Faute de soleil, 1995 ; Une femme d’extérieur, 1999), Jean-Daniel Pollet (Dieu sait quoi, 1996), Jean-Paul Civeyrac (Ni d’Ève ni d’Adam, 1996), Sébastien Lifshitz (Les Cœurs ouverts, 1997 ; Les Terres froides, 1999 ; Presque rien, 2000), Henri Herré (L’Île au bout du monde, 1998), Caterina Profili (Les Soigneurs de la ville, 2003 ; On dirait Nino Ferrer, 2004), José Alcala (Alex, 2004), Christine Laurent (Call Me Agostino, 2004), Jean-Pascal Hattu (7 ans, 2006), and Patric Chiha (Domaine, 2006). This was his last film as DoP.

Pascal Poucet was an active member of the AFC from 2005 to 2016.

Our thoughts go out to Yolande Decarsin, his partner, his children, Lucie and Abel, and his loved ones.

In Memoriam

- Pascal was so sensitive, but he was also so shy. He kept so much to himself that few of our colleagues in the AFC realize how great of a loss this is. We lived through the transition from photography to cinematography together. Pascalou, I miss you, and you’ll never know it.
Robert Alazraki, AFC

"Photo de famille", encart publicitaire pour Fujifilm paru au début des années 2000
"Photo de famille", encart publicitaire pour Fujifilm paru au début des années 2000
Entourant Robert Alzaraki sur la photo du haut, à partir de la gauche : Pascal Poucet, Séverine Barde, Agnès Godard, Brigitte Barbier, Muriel Edelstein, Maggie Perlado et Dominique Gentil – Archives Robert Alzaraki

At the top of the third column, one can make out Pascal Poucet’s dedication to Robert Alzaraki : "A tandem… A day bed… A Victoria… A rainbow coat… T. REX… Pink Floyd… battersea… it’s all right today… RCA… The lovely month of May… 1968… Kisses… Pascalou…"

I was sad to hear of Pascal Poucet’s recent death. He was a discreet cinematographer and man who once gave me a taste for photography. He was part of a small group of friends who surrounded my father, Julos Beaucarne, which also included Robert Alzaraki and Ernest Pignon Ernest. They met between 1960-1963 at the Avignon Festival and they always got along so well. They were all gifted in an art (photography, poetry, graphic design, cinema). Pascal Poucet is a part of my photographic DNA because, when I was a child, he introduced me to photography and later, Robert Alzaraki introduced me to cinema ! Pascal was always very discreet about his own work, and he was always happy to see Robert and me grow.
My thoughts go out to him and his loved ones.
Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC

Robert Alzaraki, à gauche, Pascal Poucet et Julos Beaucarne, dans les années 1970
Robert Alzaraki, à gauche, Pascal Poucet et Julos Beaucarne, dans les années 1970
Archives Robert Alazraki

- I was Pascal’s assistant and stooge for sixteen years.
He’s just passed away. We travelled all over France and the world to make films, with a camera or two in our luggage (always cabin, never checked). It’s strange, and a little prosaic, to mention that, given that I’ll never see him again, but I’m convinced that he would have liked that I made that distinction.
Not everyone had the opportunity. Pascal was of the generation that demanded the unusual, contrast and knowing how to make do with not much. Films and lighting included. I send you a kiss, Pascal. I hope you’re happy, wherever you are.
Pierre Hémon, photographer and cinematographer

Sur le tournage de "Presque rien", de Sébastien Lifshitz, en 2000
Sur le tournage de "Presque rien", de Sébastien Lifshitz, en 2000
De g. à d. : Philippe Thiollier, en avant-plan, Pascal Poucet, réfléchissant, et Pierre Hémon, décamètre en mains au 3e plan - Archives Pierre Hémon
  • Lire aussi le témoignage du réalisateur Sébastien Lifshitz.

The thumbnail image above shows Pascal Poucet on location of L’Homme qui marche, by Jo Francky, 1972.