do cinematographers, whose work gives a film its distinctive
look, receive the attention they deserve outside their
own peer group. The clinical gloom that suffuses the
films of David Cronenberg, for example, is the genius
of D.P. (in industry jargon, short for director of
photography) Peter Suschitzky. The lush, saturated
color of Apocalypse Now and The Last Emperor is three-time oscar winner Vittorio Storaro's trademark.
Now screenwriting duo Laurie Frank and Floyd Byars
(Making Mr. Right) are giving D.P.'s their
due by curating their private still work in a series
of echibitions at New Alchemy Gallery in Los Angeles,
allowing a more studied appreciation of cinematographers'
vision. The shows also serve as autobiographies, explains
Frank, citing this month's exhibition of the work
of three generations of Suschitzkys, all cinematographers.
The series, "still/Moving",
has developed an enthusiastic following in this very
word-of-mouth town, pairing the work of such Oscar legends
as Haskell Wexler (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
and Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third
King) with that of lesser-known talents such as
Phil Parmet (In the Soup) and documentarian Christine
Burrill. Since the debut show last May, works have been
purchased by directors and actors alike, including Jonathan
Demme, Robert De Niro, and Steve Buscemi. "Our
memories are made up of film images," explains
Frank, "and these are the people whose eyes we've
seen these images through."
BY David Savage