Synopsis by Mark Deming
Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond were two of the best and most influential cinematographers working in Hollywood in the Sixties and Seventies; between them, they worked with the likes of Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Brian DePalma, John Boorman, Peter Bogdanovich, Hal Ashby, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Paul Mazursky, helping shape the look of some of the most vital films of the decade and showing new ways to balance beauty and realism on screen. Surprisingly, these two master cameramen were not professional rivals, but close friends who came to the United States in 1957, fleeing their native Hungary after Soviet troops rolled into the country to put down a people's revolution (which the young cinematographers helped document with newsreel cameras). After cutting their teeth in the United States shooting a variety of low-budget projects, Kovacs enjoyed a commercial breakthrough when he shot Easy Rider in 1969, and Zsigmond made his name a few years later with McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Deliverance; the two remained close friends and colleagues, and Zsigmond remains active today, while Kovacs stayed in the film business up until his death in 2007. No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos is a documentary which explores the professional and personal lives of these two gifted craftsmen, created with their cooperation; it features interviews with a number of their friends and collaborators, including Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Bob Rafelson, Karen Black, Sharon Stone, Haskell Wexler and Tatum O'Neal.
cinematography, friendship, Hungary