How often do we get the chance to use the term 'living legend' and really mean it? Legendary cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky celebrates his centenary this year. BAFTA and the BFI now join forces to pay tribute.
Born in Vienna on 29 August 1912, Wolfgang Suschitzky arrived in Britain in 1934. While building a reputation as one of our great stills photographers, Wolf - 'Su', in the business - pursued a parallel career as cameraman embracing almost every aspect of British film and television. Starting out as one of Paul Rotha's documentary cameramen, he would excel at shooting shorts, features, children's movies, industrial and scientific films and television programmes. All were enhanced by his inimitable feel for lighting, framing and the human and technical aspects of amazingly varied subject matter. Wolf now heads a veritable cinematographic dynasty, including son Peter (regular Cronenberg DoP) and grandson Adam (who has excelled shooting innumerable major TV series, including 2012's Titanic).
This unmissable celebration begins with a survey of Wolfgang's career across genres: a screening of rare shorts and extracts followed by an onstage interview with the man himself. The BFI National Archive has restored several works for the screening, including the long-unseen documentary The Bridge (1946), made in post-war Yugoslavia, and the stunning environmentalist short The River Must Live (1966). Hugh Hudson's cult film The Tortoise and the Hare (1966) - well-remembered by those of a certain age - will be among tonight's highlights. Also as part of this evening, BAFTA will present Wolfgang with a Special Award for a Creative Contribution to Cinema.
Joint ticket available with Get Carter for £13.75, concs £10.25 (Members pay £1.50 less)
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