This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond Has Died
Vilmos Zisgmond, the Oscar-winning cinematographer known for his work on films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, and Deliverance, died in Big Sur on Friday after battling "a combination of many illnesses," according to his business partner Yuri Neyman.Neyman posted the news on Facebook, writing,
It is with great regret and deep sorrow that I must inform you that on Friday, January 1st one of the greatest cinematographers in the world, my dear friend and co-founder of Global Cinematography Institute Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, HSC passed away. Arrangements for services are still pending. Please join with all of us in offering thoughts and prayers for Vilmos’ family at this difficult time.
His career in Hollywood spanned five decades, and he racked up a list of some incredible films—many of which he was awarded or recognized for. Zsigmond got his "break" so to speak on Robert Altman's "anti-Western" epic McCabe And Mrs. Miller. Roger Ebert wrote at the time "Some spend their lives trying, but always fall short. Robert Altman has made a dozen films that can be called great in one way or another, but one of them is perfect, and that one is McCabe & Mrs. Miller."
From there, Zsigmond would work on two more films for Altman: Images and The Long Goodbye, and was in high-demand from the top directors of the 1970s and '80s: like Martin Scorcese, Stephen Spielberg, and Brian De Palma. Zsigmond won an Oscar for Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1978. The following year, he was nominated again for The Deer Hunter. But here's a trailer from De Palma's Blow Out, which rules:
In the later years of his career, Zsigmond worked for the Woody Allen films of the aughts, including Cassandra's Dream and You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. He was nominated for another Oscar with De Palma's Black Dahlia. He also shot several episodes of The Mindy Project, and Mindy Kaling expressed her admiration for the cinematographer on Twitter:
Vilmos Zsigmond was a gentle genius. He taught me so much about how film could be art and I was lucky to work with him.— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) January 3, 2016
My favorite movie Vilmos shot was McCabe & Mrs. Miller. If you haven't seen it, please do. It's so gorgeous and romantic.— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) January 3, 2016
And here's one more, if only so we can include the image of a babely young Warren Beatty:
#VilmosZsigmond pic.twitter.com/StTnczwazP— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) January 3, 2016
As Neyman told the L.A. Times:
He discovered and created new styles in cinematography in the United States and in independent cinema...He was a very first voice. He taught people how to look and think differently. He was unique at a time when he was just in independent cinema, [before all the awards]. He changed how people view cinematography.
Really, not enough praise can be said about Zsigmond's outstanding storytelling and gorgeous, enduring images. So here's a scene he shot from Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye:
Donald Trump was a fading TV presence when the WGA strike put a dent in network schedules.
Pickets are being held outside at movie and TV studios across the city
For some critics, this feels less like a momentous departure and more like a footnote.
Disneyland's famous "Fantasmic!" show came to a sudden end when its 45-foot animatronic dragon — Maleficent — burst into flames.
Leads Ali Wong and Steven Yeun issue a joint statement along with show creator Lee Sung Jin.
Every two years, Desert X presents site-specific outdoor installations throughout the Coachella Valley. Two Los Angeles artists have new work on display.