In memoriam: Raoul Coutard, 1924-2016

Raoul Coutard in front of--and behind--the camera in Contempt (dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1963).

Consider Raoul Coutard's resume: he shot Z, Lola, Chronicle of a Summer, three films for Truffaut (including Jules and Jim), and sixteen for Godard (including Breathless, Vivre Sa Vie, and Weekend).  The black and white films are moody, sensuous; rainy-day gray tones have perhaps never looked more romantic than in a film like Bande a Part.  The color films are luscious, ripe, and brilliant; witness the pop-art brightness of Pierrot Le Fou and Made in USA, or Contempt, arguably his masterpiece, a film drenched in Mediterranean sunlight.  It's also the film in which he briefly appears onscreen--as himself (see above). 

His death marks the loss of one of the last remaining figures of the French New Wave.  The films still glow.    


No comments:

Post a Comment