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Laszlo Kovacs ASC rides away


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#1 Michael Tsimperopoulos SOC

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:49 AM

I just got news that Laszlo Kovacs died yesterday. A true Master is no longer with us. So so sad.
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#2 e gustavo petersen

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 12:42 PM

A great loss. I remember when he came to my university back in 2000 and how he captivated the cinematography students.
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 12:49 PM

That is very sad news , great cinematographer . dont know why he was never asked to shoot better movies in the last 20 years .
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#4 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 02:34 PM

From The Hollywood Reporter

Cinematographer Lazlo Kovacs dies at 74

By Carolyn Giardina

Laszlo Kovacs, one of Hollywood's most influential and respected directors of photography, died Saturday night in his sleep. He was 74.

Kovacs lensed the landmark cinematic achievement "Easy Rider" and compiled about 60 credits including "Five Easy Pieces," "Shampoo," "Paper Moon," "New York, New York," "What's Up, Doc," "Ghostbusters," "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "Miss Congeniality."

The Hungary-born cinematographer also carried during his career a remarkable story of courage that occurred 50 years ago during his country's revolution.

Kovacs was born and raised on a farm in Hungary when that country was isolated from the Western world, first by the Nazi occupation and later during the Cold War. Kovacs was in his final year of school in Budapest when a revolt against the communist regime started on the city streets.

He and his lifelong friend Vilmos Zsigmond made the daring decision to document the event for its historic significance. To do this, they borrowed film and a camera from their school, hid the camera in a paper bag with a hole for the lens and recorded the conflict.

The pair then embarked on a dangerous journey during which they carried 30,000 feet of documentary film across the border into Austria. They entered the U.S. as political refugees in 1957.

Their historic film was featured in a CBS documentary narrated by Walter Cronkite.

Against the odds, Kovacs and Zsigmond went on to become two of Hollywood's most influential directors of photography.

Kovacs was an active member of the American Society of Cinematographers, and in 2002, he received the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization's highest honor.

In 1998, he received two lifetime achievement awards for cinematography: one at the Hawaii International Film Festival and one at CamerImage, the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, in Torun, Poland.

Kovacs was a member of the ASC's board of directors and demonstrated a deep commitment to education by leading the ASC Education Committee.

The 2008 ASC Student Awards will be known as the Laszlo Kovacs Student Heritage Award.

Kovacs is survived by his wife, Audrey, and two daughters, Jullianna and Nadia.
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#5 Matthew Buick

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 03:01 PM

This is such saddening news. :(
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#6 Milo Sekulovich

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 04:52 PM

This is simply horrible news. He wasn't that old, and he was still active.

I agree with John Holland. Why wasn't Laszlo doing high profile first rate movies
in the last 20 years? He was an extraordinary talent. It seems that all the major films
are shot by all the same flavor of the month names these days.

He was an inspiration to me,and there are some shots in the feature I've been shooting
that were inspired by him.

We never want our heroes and inspirations to die. We want them to live forever
and perform their art without end.

It's so hard to reconcile this........

Bless you Laszlo. Your brilliance will live forever.


Milo Sekulovich
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#7 Paul Maibaum ASC

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 05:04 PM

Sad news indeed.
He lives on in the legacy of his films.
Among the great ones: "Easy Rider", "Five Easy Pieces", "What's Up, Doc?", "The King of Marvin Gardens", "Paper Moon", "Shampoo".
My condolences to his family and his lifelong friend, Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC.
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#8 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 05:21 PM

Damn. I just watched Paper Moon and Targets the other week. Amazing cinematographer and I'm sad he's gone. His work will continue to inspire those for years to come.
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 05:23 PM

I still can't believe he's gone. I was looking at a photograph of him in this year's ASC Open House and think he was a man of such wisdom. He probably only had hours to live when I looked at the photo.

I'm actually crying. Richard Wagner's Lohengrin may be helping that, though. :(

Edited by Matthew Buick, 23 July 2007 - 05:24 PM.

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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 07:17 PM

This is so hard to imagine. I saw him at a dinner just a week or two ago, he seemed to be fine then.



-- J.S.
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#11 Rodrigo Llano

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 09:11 PM

Mis respetos


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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:27 PM

I too just watched "Paper Moon" again just a couple weeks ago, it inspired me to go out and shoot some more B&W.

Incidentally, the film "Radio Flyer" was an early influence on me when I saw it as an 11 or 12 year old boy. The visuals still stick with me to this day.

His projects have been a roller coaster from high to low concept films, but his work has always been a class act regardless of the genre or sillyness of the subject matter. And his shared knowledge with students should be compiled into one compendium for all.

I miss him already.
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#13 Luc Allein

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:38 AM

This hurts, I never got to totally meet him in person and he's like one of my heroes. I JUST SAW HIM not even two weeks ago, he was walking out of Panavision. I said "Oh man, Lazlo's here, I should go say hi" because once they sent me on a run to his house to pick up a bunch of his movies, which I was very very glad to do. (He was out at a film festival doing a presentation and had forgotten all his materials) I was on the phone with him and he was telling me what to do and where to get the stuff. He said next time he drops by Panavision (where I work) he'd come back and meet me, because I told him what a fan I was. He seemed like a really nice guy, never heard a bad thing about him. That's too bad. Jesus, I cant believe I didnt say hi to him, I just saw him.

Edited by Luc Allein, 24 July 2007 - 10:38 AM.

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#14 David Auner aac

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:26 PM

May his legacy live on and inspire generations of filmmakers to come.

Regards, Dave
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