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A surprising conference in Japan

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The important cinematographers
Raoul Coutard Film-maker
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Moi je veux dire j'ai d'abord une grande admiration pour d'une part les opérateurs américains, parce que je trouve qu'il y a plein de trucs qu'ils font et que je me demande toujours comment ils ont bien pu faire. Parce qu'il y a toujours, enfin pas tout le temps, mais sur des grands films pour moi il y a une réelle qualité, des choses qui sont souvent très difficiles. L'autre jour je parlais de Slocombe avec son "Gatsby le Magnifique"- Bon- Mais y'a souvent des trucs comme ça où les Américains excellent à faire des choses qui sont extraordinaires. Je pense qu'il y en a d'autres qui le font, puisque notre camarade, dont d'un seul coup j'ai oublié le nom- Qui a fait la photo de "Au milieu coule une rivière", c'est un Français qui a fait ça- Ah c'est- Oui oh il travaille pratiquement aux Etats-Unis- Il travaille tout le temps aux Etats-Unis. Il fait une photo magnifique- C'est- Oh- Enfin tout le monde voit qui c'est. Oui oui, je vois qui c'est, il a travaillé avec Clint Eastwood, il a fait la photo de films américains importants- Peu importe. C'est pas Baudry ? Non. C'est pas Thierry Arbogas non plus, c'est un autre- Non non non. En tout cas en plus c'est un gars, moi je l'ai rencontré deux-trois fois comme ça, qui est assez sympathique, qui n'est pas- Qui roule pas trop. Enfin je veux dire je sais pas si dans la vie il roule mais les quelques fois que je l'ai vu c'est pas un rouleur de mécaniques je veux dire. En tout cas, il fait une photo qui est magnifique. Et puis je veux dire dans l'ordre des trucs, il y a ceux que je trouve assez étonnants, c'est les Japonais quand même. Parce que là ils font, il y a des choses qu'ils font qui sont absolument magnifiques.
I mean first of all I have a great admiration for on the one side the American cinematographers, because I think that there are loads of things that they do and that I wonder how they could have done it. Because they're always, well not every time, but on big films there's a real quality, things that are often very difficult. The other day I was talking about Slocombe with his "The Great Gatsby"- So- But there are often things like that where the Americans are excellent to do things that are extraordinary. I think that there are others that do it, since our fellow, so all of a sudden I forgot the name- Who did the photo on "A River Runs Through It", it's a French guy who did that- Ah it's- Yes he practically works in the United States- He always works in the United States. He takes a beautiful photo- It's- Oh- Well everyone knows who it is. Yes yes, I see who it is, he worked with Clint Eastwood, he did the cinematography for important American films- Anyway- Isn't it Baudry? No. It wasn't Thierry Arbogas either, it's another- no no no. Either way on top of that, he's a guy, I met him two-three times like that, whose quite pleasant, which isn't- who doesn't take people for a ride. Well I mean I don't know if he does in life, but the few times that I saw him he wasn't out to con the electricians, I mean. Either way, he takes a magnificent photo. And then I mean in the other things, there are those who I find quite surprising, that's the Japanese. Because they do, there are things that they do which are absolutely magnificent.

French cinematographer, Raoul Coutard (1924-2016) was twice nominated for the César Award for best cinematography which he won in 1978 for 'Le Crabe-tambour'. He made over 75 films and documentaries, including 'À Bout de Souffle', Le Mépris' and 'Band à Part'. He was the most acclaimed French cinematographer of his generation and one of the key figures of the New Wave.

Listeners: Bernard Cohn

Benard Cohn is a French filmmaker and writer, who has directed five films as well as numerous documentaries and television series. As an assistant director, he worked with many important filmmakers, including Luis Buñuel, François Jacob, Otto Preminger and Woody Allen. He was a founding member of the Ciné-Qua-Non cinema club and has acted as editor and translator for various publications on the world of cinema.

Bernard Cohn est un réalisateur et écrivain français, ayant réalisé cinq film ainsi que de nombreux reportages et séries télévisées. En tant qu'assistant réalisateur, il a travaillé avec plusieurs grands cinéastes, notamment Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut, Otto Preminger et Woody Allen. Il fut membre fondateur du ciné-club Ciné-Qua-Non et a participé à la rédaction et traduction en anglais, de plusieurs ouvrages sur le cinéma.

Tags: Douglas Slocombe, A River Runs Through It, Clint Eastwood, Thierry Arbogast

Duration: 1 minute, 57 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008