Born in London in 1942, Tony Richmond began his film career in his teens as a messenger for Associate British Cinemas; a later job with Pathé News put him in the camera department. Work as a clapper loader, focus puller and assistant cameraman brought him into contact with such master filmmakers as David Lean, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and, most famously, Nicolas Roeg.
Though credited for special photography on WALKABOUT, Richmond really made his mark on Roeg’s DON’T LOOK NOW, for which he won a BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography. Shot in Venice during the winter, the thriller employed minimal lighting, a muted color palette and hand-held camerawork to create a sinister atmosphere all the more remarkable for the limitations of the low-budget film. “It’s hard to shoot anything in Venice, let alone shoot it quickly, because of the very nature of the city and its canals,” recalled the cinematographer. “There are no trucks, no camera trucks – everything has to go in by barge!”
Working in England during the 1960s and 1970s also brought Richmond into contact with the cream of the music world, including The Beatles (LET IT BE), The Rolling Stones (SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL) and The Who (THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT). Collaborating again with Roeg, Richmond focused his camera on David Bowie in THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH to provide the rocker with his most iconic screen appearance. Richmond supervised the new 4K restoration of the film that will be screened here.
Richmond’s ongoing career also encompasses cult horror favorites (CANDYMAN), studio comedies (LEGALLY BLONDE) and family films (THE SANDLOT). His broad experience makes him an ideal mentor for aspiring filmmakers (both Sean Penn and Anjelica Huston tapped him to shoot their directorial debuts), and he was recently named faculty chair of the cinematography department at the New York Film Academy - Los Angeles.
Series compiled by Grant Moninger. Program notes by John Hagelston.