Friday, September 22, 2006

RIP Sven Nykvist

Bergman's shadow twin, almost.

"In 1997, during the filming of Woody Allen's Celebrity, Nykvist was diagnosed with having progressive aphasia - a rare brain disease that causes words to become mixed up and eventually leads to complete loss of speech.
With his condition rapidly worsening, Nykvist was forced to retire, a tragic irony for someone who spent his career communicating visually rather than verbally. The warm-hearted Nykvist, with his handsome Viking appearance, whose favourite novel was Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, commented in the 1990s, "It has taken me 30 years to come to simplicity. Earlier, I made a lot of what I thought were beautiful shots with much backlighting and many effects, absolutely none of which were motivated by anything in the film at all. As soon as we had a painting on the wall, we thought it should have a glow around it. It was terrible and I can hardly stand to see my own films on television anymore. I look for two minutes and then I thank God that there is a word called simplicity."
· Sven Nykvist, cinematographer; born December 3 1922; died September 20 2006"

The rest of the obit here and a slideshow of some stills here. Both links to the Guardian via Alok.

1 comment:

david raphael israel said...

ah, I had not gotten news of Sven Nykvist's demise till now. Thanks for the notice.

You've been rather blogo-prolific yourself!