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Haskell Wexler

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Biography

Haskell Wexler

Source: Freebase

Haskell Wexler, A.S.C. (born February 6, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois) is an Academy Award-winning American cinematographer, and a film producer and director. Wexler was judged to be one of film history's ten most influential cinematographers in a survey of the members of the International Cinematographers Guild.

In 1963, Wexler served as the cinematographer on his first big-budget film, Elia Kazan's America, America. The film had a stunning look, and Kazan was nominated for a Best Director Academy Award. Wexler worked steadily in Hollywood thereafter. Wexler was cinematographer of Mike Nichols' screen version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), for which he won the last Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Black & White).

He won a second Oscar for Bound for Glory (1976), a biography of Woody Guthrie (whom Wexler had met during his time in the Merchant Marines). Bound for Glory was one of the earliest feature films in which the cinematographer used the steadicam, in a famous sequence that also incorporated a crane shot. Wexler was also credited as additional cinematographer on Days of Heaven (1978), which won a Best Cinematography Oscar for Nestor Almendros. Wexler was also featured on the soundtrack of the film Underground, recorded on Folkways Records in 1976.

He has worked on documentaries throughout his career. The 1980 documentary Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang earned an Emmy Award; Interview with My Lai Veterans won an Academy Award. His most recent documentaries are Bus Riders' Union and Who Needs Sleep.

Wexler has also directed fictional movies. Medium Cool (1969), a film written by Wexler and shot in the cinéma vérité style, is studied by film students all over the world for its breakthrough form. It influenced more than a generation of filmmakers. The making of Medium Cool was the subject of a BBC documentary, Look Out Haskell, It's Real: The Making of Medium Cool.

Produced by Lucasfilm, Wexler's film Latino was chosen for the 1985 Cannes Film Festival. He both wrote and directed the work. Another directing project was From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks, an intimate exploration of the life and times of Harry Bridges, an extraordinary labor leader and social visionary described as "a hero or the devil incarnate, it all depends on your point of view."

In 1988, Wexler won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography for the John Sayles film Matewan, for which he was also nominated for an Academy Award. His work with Billy Crystal in the 2001 HBO film 61* was nominated for an Emmy.

Fact file

Read more about Haskell Wexler at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

In the news

petercaranicas
Variety, 2018-10-19 15:15:26
Newton Thomas Sigel has deep roots in documentary. One of his first professional jobs was operating the camera on what became Kenneth Anger’s docu short “Lucifer Rising.” In 1982, he connected with DP and director Haskell Wexler through documentary work in Central America, including “When the Mountains Tremble,” about crimes ...

Grand Central Market In 1963, As Shot By An Oscar-Winning Cinematographer
LAist - News from LA, 2017-07-18 20:07:58
The clip was made by cinematographer Haskell Wexler and director William Hale in 1963. [ more › ]

Oscar Winner Haskell Wexler Speaks About Sarah Jones Accident, Urges Safety
Hollywood Reporter, 2014-03-30 06:33:55
“Right now the conditions are not humane,” he told THR at the debut Location Managers Guild Awards.read more

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