Cannes Seminar with Peter Suschitzky, ASC - part 2

thefilmbook by Benjamin B

This post continues my account of  Peter Suschitzky’s seminar in Cannes, as part of the ExcelLens tribute organized by Angénieux.

For part 1, I edited a video that recounted Peter’s beginnings, discussing scenes from The Public Eye, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Empire Strikes Back. If you haven't seen the video, you might want to do so before reading this post.

Peter Suschitzky and David Cronenberg on the set of A History of Violence
Peter Suschitzky and David Cronenberg on the set of A History of Violence

In this post I begin a focus on Peter’s rich collaboration with director David Cronenberg with a video and some text notes.

1. Seminar Video - part 2

2. Cronenberg and Suschitzky

3. Cronenberg's Letter about Suchitzky



Links

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1. Seminar Video - part 2

view on YouTube

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2. Cronenberg and Suschitzky

I believe that long-term collaborations between directors and cinematographers breed some of the best films; when two filmmakers can collaborate on many works, I feel it allows them to go further than they would alone. This is certainly the case with Peter Suschitzky and David Cronenberg, who have made eleven memorable films together:

  • Dead Ringers, 1988
  • Naked Lunch, 1991 - based on novel by William Burroughs
  • M. Butterfly, 1993 - based on play by David Henry Hwang
  • Crash, 1996 - based on novel by J. G. Ballard
  • eXistenZ, 1999
  • Spider, 2002 - based on novel by Patrick McGrath
  • A History of Violence, 2005 - based on graphic novel by John Wagner & Vince Locke
  • Eastern Promises, 2007
  • A Dangerous Method, 2011 - based on play by Christopher Hampton
  • Cosmopolis, 2012 - based on novel by Tom DeLillo
  • Maps to the Stars, 2014

Cronenberg and Goldblum on set of The Fly

David Cronenberg began his career as a horror film director, but made a transition to art films with Dead Ringers, his first collaboration with Peter. Cronenberg describes himself as a "would-be novelist".

Many of his films are ambitious adaptations of controversial, sometimes difficult literature, works that evoke far-reaching themes of identity, addiction, homosexuality, perversion, violence, psychoanalysis, hyper-capitalism and decadence. If there is a recurring motif in Cronenberg's work it is that of transformation from within.

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3. Cronenberg's Letter about Suchitzky

The success of Cronenberg's oeuvre owes much to Peter Suchitzky's striking, elegant cinematography. During the ExcelLens tribute ceremony in Cannes, actor Viggo Mortensen read the following letter from the director:

It’s wonderful that we’re celebrating the film artistry of Peter Suschitzky in so public a venue as the Cannes Film Festival. But I’ve been giving Peter awards in my head for all the years that I’ve known him. That’s almost thirty years of deep friendship, and full collaboration on 11 movies. It’s of course fitting in some ways that this award is connected with high-quality lenses, because they are the basic tools of the cinematographer.

But what Peter has brought to our films has very little to do with glass or technology, and everything to do with his profound culture, his spontaneous inventiveness, his organic and inspired sense of light, and his understanding of the human condition as it reveals itself in human narrative. Knowing that I have Peter by my side as we venture onto the film set has given me courage, support, fearlessness, and inspiration.

Thank you, Peter. Long may you turn.

David Cronenberg

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LINKS

Peter Suschitzky

wikipedia: Peter Suchitzky

imdb: Peter Suschitzky

David Cronenberg

en.wikipedia.org

davidcronenberg.de

cronenbergmuseum.tiff.net

cinearchive.org

Dead Ringers

en.wikipedia.org

Naked Lunch

The script for Naked Lunch can be read on cinearchive.org

davidcronenberg.de: interview with Burroughs and Cronenberg

thefilmbook: Cannes Seminar with Peter Suschitzky, ASC - part 1

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Meeting with Peter Suschitzky -thefilmbook

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