Raoul Coutard

Active - 1959 - 2016  |   Born - Sep 16, 1924   |   Died - Nov 8, 2016   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Cinematographer Raoul Coutard was best known in his formative creative years as a topnotch photojournalist for such magazines as Life and Paris Match. Coutard carried over his skills to the world of the filmed documentary; his work was distinguished by his inventive deployment of hand-held camerawork. This was but one of the qualities that brought him to the attention of such New Wave directors as Godard and Truffaut. Coutard served as lensman on Godard's Breathless (1959), Vivre Sa Vie (1962), Contempt (1963), Alphaville (1965), Pierrot le Fou (1965), Weekend (1967), and many others. His collaborations with Truffaut include Shoot the Piano Player (1960), Jules et Jim (1961), and The Bride Wore Black (1968). He has also worked harmoniously with Jacques Demy (Lola) and Costa-Gavras (Z). Disturbed and disillusioned by his experiences as a soldier in Indochina, Raoul Coutard set forth his political ideology in his directorial efforts Hoa Binh (1970), La Legion Saute sur Kolwezi (1980), and S.A.S. a San Salvador (1982). Coutard continued working through the mid-1990s, mostly retiring by 1996, though he shot his final film, Wild Innocence, in 2001. Coutard died in 2016, at age 92.

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