Passing of Cinematographer Armand Marco, AFC

La Lettre AFC n°262

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The announcement of the passing of a long-time friend often takes one by surprise : in reaction, one wishes that one had heard about the news earlier. The passing of Armand Marco, AFC Member, occurred on Saturday, 20 February 2016 at the age of 77 in Yerres. It was sad news for many of us. Armand was one of the pillars of our association for many years.

Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that Armand Marco was an “active” member of the AFC since he joined in 1995 ! In January 1996, he became a member of the Board of Directors, became active in Imago – the European Federation of Cinematographers – and from 1997 onward, he represented the AFC at MadridImagen – an ephemeral international image festival that was organized by our Spanish colleagues – and in the years to follow at many European events. He became an administrator of the AFC beginning in 2002, accomplished an important achievement with the publication of Making Pictures : A Century of European Cinematography, published by Imago in 2003, and was a member of the editorial board of the publication Lumières, les Cahiers AFC on issues 3 (2009) and 4 (2011). And those are just a few highlights…

Born in Algeria in 1938, Armand arrived in France in 1958, trained as a cinematographer at “Vaugirard” (now the ENS Louis-Lumière), from where he graduated in 1962. He assisted Claude Lecomte in 1965, then Quinto Albicocco, Willy Kurrant, and especially Alain Levent, with whom he became a cameraman in 1968.
His beginnings a a director of photography date from 1970 and his career continued until 1997. He will have worked with directors with styles as varied as those of Sylvina Boissonnas, Jean Valère, Jean-Luc Godard, Michèle Rosier, Claude Faraldo, Jean Eustache, Armand Gatti, Miklós Jancsó, Raoul Peck, alternating between fictions, documentaries, short films, and made-for-television movies.

Beyond his work, we remember, during our meetings, which he always attended, his deep and serious voice, his face with its twinkling eyes and contagious smile, his well-considered and pertinent comments, his carefully-chosen words, the way he would leave his ego aside, and sometimes correcting us, always wisely, when we got carried away with our new projects. Via his activities at La fémis and elsewhere, he was always concerned with passing on his experience to the next generation.

The illness and death of his partner had deeply and durably affected him, and drew him away from us as the months went by. Our last attempts to contact him went unanswered. For his friends, Armand was a luminous being. He has left us, having allowed his inside light to slowly go out. We will miss him, one and all.

In the name of its Directors of Photography, the AFC presents its sincere condolences to his daughter Cécilia, his brother Guy, and to his entire family.

Also read (in French)