Monday, January 4, 2016

Vilmos Zsigmond, RIP

Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond has died at age 85. He won an Oscar for Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

He came to the U.S. from Hungary in '56 and worked on low budget movies until he began working with Robert Altman.

One low budget film he made was Wild Guitar, directed by the late Ray Dennis Steckler, starring Arch Hall, Jr. It had a romantic scene in an ice rink you can see here. Zsigmond didn't want to do it, but Steckler had him light the scene with a single spotlight resulting in the lens flares you see in the final shot of the kids kissing. Steckler joked that he set Zsigmond on course for the Oscar with the lens flares in Close Encounters.

They actually add lens flares digitally now.

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