2013 - [courtesy of Willy Kurant]

From interview

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 WILLY KURANT   AFC/ASC

Born: 15 February 1934, Liège [Luik], Belgium.

Career: 'I was undecided between still and motion picture photography until I took a night class at a small film school in France. During the days, I worked at a research lab. Part of my job was loading and unloading cameras and processing films used in tests. In 1954, I went to the Belgian Congo with a documentary crew for six months. I worked on 10 films as an assistant and sometimes I operated a second camera. They were 35mm films produced for the Ministry of Colonies as propaganda. I was a news cameraman for Belgian TV. During the World Fair in Brussels in 1958, I saw a German film crew with a synch motor on an Arriflex camera and a portable sound recorder. I decided to buy an Arriflex camera, an entire set of lenses and one of those sound recorders. I was freelancing for a pool of French, Belgian and Swiss TV stations. I was shooting cinéma-vérité style. I could place the sound recorder on the ground, give the mike to a reporter and roam freely. I also worked for a program on French TV and I filmed dramatic interludes - very nice looking five-minute pieces - that ran between other TV programs. I covered a few wars including the one in Vietnam and I went to the Congo again during the war for independence. In 1957, I got a scholarship from the British Council and worked at Pinewood Studios for three movies. I was very fortunate to work with Geoffrey Unsworth, Harry Waxman and Jack Hildyard as kind of a trainee-first assistant. I moved to France in 1962. I was shooting television news and was taking time off to attend a film school in Paris that graduated every cameraman in France. You couldn't work if you didn't pass an exam and have a diploma from that school. We learned photochemistry and camera mechanics. You had to shoot three short features before you qualified as a first assistant on features.' [From KODAK OnFilm website.]

Was asst to dir Joris Ivens [1953-54].

Ph numerous films for Belgian TV and was newsreel ph on '9 millions' [Belgium], 'Cinq colonnes à la une' [France] and 'Continents sans visages' [Switzerland]. Ph commercials dir by Christian Gandon, a.o.

Appeared in the doc 'Willy Kurant, itinéraire d'un découvreur' [2009].

Awards: 'César' Award nom [1988] for 'Sous le soleil de Satan'.


Willy Kurant: 'Everyone thinks of me as a French cameraman, but I was raised in Belgium and was influenced by the Dutch master painters and the metallic blue light in the Northern sky. In the beginning, I thought film was like life at 24 frames per second, but soon realized we had license to light subjectively and interpret reality for artistic reasons. When we didn't have money to light, I found photochemical solutions to give the film a certain look. Cinematography is like playing first violin in a symphony orchestra with the director conducting. But, it is also a very interpretive art form. I believe in lighting at the spur of the moment. I'll see something in a face or in the way an actress or actor is moving and decide to change the way we cover and light that shot.' [From KODAK OnFilm website.]



 FILMS

1954

Pierre-Romain Desfossez [Gérard De Boe] b&w; short/?m; cph: Freddy Rents

1956

Klinkaart/La briquetterie [Paul Meyer] b&w; short/22m

1956

Le retable de Notre-Dame de Lombeek/De retabel van Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek [Paul Meyer] 16mm/b&w; short/18m; cph: ?

1957

Impression de Moscou [Johan Eekman] c; doc/11m

1958

Rythmes d'Europe/Europa langs nieuwe wegen [René Van de Weerdt] ?; doc/?m; cph: ?

1959

Le mur de la mort [Jacques Carpent] ?; short/?m; cph: ?

1959

La dernière toile [Harry Fischbach] b&w; short/?m

1959

Eve et lui [Harry Fischbach] ?; short/?m

1959

Béjart [François Weyergans] b&w; doc/19m

1961

Roosevelt Sykes 'The Honeydripper' [Yannick Bruynoghe] ?; mus short/27m; cph: ?

1961

Suite européenne/Vertrek [Patrick Ledoux] ?; cph: ?

1962

Coups de feu à 18 heures [Daniel Costelle] b&w; short/13m

1962

Un jour à Paris [Serge Korber] b&w; short/19m

1962

Dans le vent [Jacques Rozier] 16mm/b&w; doc/8m

1963

Les idoles [Marin Karmitz] b&w; mus short/9m

1963

Auto [Jean-Claude Lubtchansky] c; short/14m

1963

Encore dimanche [Jean-Christophe Averty] ?; short/14m

1963

Un vieux [Jean-Jacques Péché] b&w; short/35m

1963

Chroniques turques/Turkish Chronicles [ep 'La corne d'or' (12m), 'Istanbul' (13m), 'Maître Galip' (11m), 'Byzance' (11m), 'Pehlivan' (13m) & 'Le Bosphore' (13m) dir by Maurice Pialat] b&w; doc series filmed in 1963 & 1964

1964

La demoiselle de Saint-Florentin [Serge Korber] ?; short/20m

1964

Nuit noire, Calcutta [Marin Karmitz] b&w; short/24m

1964

Le type au ras du cou blanc [Alain Dhenault] ?; short/10m

1964

La cage aux oiseaux [Jean-Christophe Averty] ?; short/14m

1964

Lucie et Dominique [Jean Dewever] b&w; doc/25m

1964

La brûlure de mille soleils [Pierre Kast] c; short/26m; cph: Jacques Maillet

1965

La vengeance d'une orpheline russe [Monique & Françoise Lepeuve] ?; short/10m

1965

Les créatures/The Creatures [Agnès Varda] fs/b&w

1965

L'affaire des poissons [Jeanne Barbillon] b&w; short/15m

1965

Masculin Féminin - 15 faits précis/Masculine - Feminine [Jean-Luc Godard] b&w

1966

Trans-Europ-Express [Alain Robbe-Grillet] b&w

1966

Au pan coupé/Wall Engravings [Guy Gilles] b&w-c; cph: Jean-Marc Ripert

1966

Roméos et jupettes [Jacques Rozier] c; doc/11m

1966

Mon amour... mon amour/My Love, My Love [Nadine Trintignant] ts/c

1966

Le départ/The Departure [Jerzy Skolimowski] b&w; 2uc: Andrzej Kostenko

1967

Loin du Vietnam/Far from Vietnam [Alain Resnais, William Klein, Joris Ivens, Agnès Varda, Claude Lelouch & Jean-Luc Godard; Chris Marker (superv)] 16mm+35mm-to-35mm/b&w-c; doc/120m; 11 seg + intro & epilogue; cph: Jean Boffety, Ghislain Cloquet, Alain Levent, Denys Clerval, Bernard Zitzermann & Kieu Tham

1967

The Deep/Dead Reckoning [Orson Welles] b&w-c; cph: Ivica Rajkovic; prod June 1967-April 1969; unreleased

1968

The Night of the Following Day [Hubert Cornfield] c

1968

Michael Kohlhaas - der Rebell/Man on Horseback [Volker Schlöndorff] c

1969

Tout peut arriver/Don't Be Blue [Philippe Labro] b&w-c

1969

Le temps de mourir/The Time to Die [André Farwagi] c

1969

Cannabis/French Intrigue/The Mafia Wants Your Blood [Pierre Koralnik] ts/c

1969

Bhakti [Maurice Béjart] c

1970

Renaissance [Marc Lobet] 16mm/c; mus doc/?m; cph: ? 

1970

Le feu sacré/The Sacred Fire [Vladimir Forgency] c

197?

Echoes of the 60's [Kevin Billington] ?; mus doc/?m

1971

Salut, Jérusalem/La Jérusalem céleste/Hello Jerusalem [Henry Chapier] c; doc/72m; cph: Anne de Gasperi

1971

Pink Floyd - Live at Pompeii/Echoes: Pink Floyd [Adrian Maben] b&w-c; mus perf/60m (video version), 85m & 92m (director's cut, 2002); cph: Gabor Pogány; a version, released in 1974, included new footage shot in January 1973

1972

That's Las Vegas [Frank Lang] c

1972

Keine Welt für Kinder/All These Children [Erwin Leiser] c; doc/91m; cph: Bert van Munster

1973

Les jours gris/The Gray Days [Iradj Azimi] c

1974

Amen [Roland Mahauden] c; short/?m

1975

Je t'aime, moi non plus/I Love You, I Don't [Serge Gainsbourg] c

1977

The Mafu Cage/Don't Ring the Doorbell/Deviation/My Sister, My Love [Karen Arthur] c; uncred ph; visual cons: John Bailey

1977

Le fond de l'air est rouge/Grin Without a Cat [Chris Marker] b&w-c; doc/240m; cph: Pierre-William Glenn, a.o.

1977

Harper Valley P.T.A. [Richard C. Bennett & Ralph Senensky] c

1980

Mam[m]a Dracula [Boris Szulzinger] c; cph: Rufus Bohez

1980

Running Scared/Back in the U.S.A./Desperate Men [Paul Glickler] c; 2uc: Thomas Stern & Allan Martin; addph: Nathaniel Dorsky

1981

Les îles/The Islands/Die Inseln [Iradj Azimi] c; cph: Robby Müller

1981

Tag [T.A.G.] - The Assassination Game/Everybody Gets It in the End/Kiss Me, Kill Me [Nick Castle] c

1982

The Killing of America/Violence U.S.A. [Sheldon Renan & Leonard Schrader] c; doc/90m; cph: Jon Else, Tom Hurwitz, Peter Smokler & Robert Charlton

1982

Équateur [Serge Gainsbourg] c

1982

À nos amours/Suzanne/To Our Loves [Maurice Pialat] left prod after 2 weeks; replaced by ph Jacques Loiseleux

1984

Tuff Turf/Love Fighters [Fritz Kiersch] c; cameraman 2u: Elliot Davis

1985

A State of Emergency/Chain Reaction [Richard C. Bennett] c

1985

Flagrant désir/A Certain Desire/Trade Secrets [Claude Faraldo] c

1986

Charlotte for Ever [Serge Gainsbourg] c

1986

Sous le soleil de Satan/Under Satan's Sun [Maurice Pialat] c; replaced ph Luciano Tovoli, who fell ill after 2 weeks

1987

Milan noir/Black Milan [Ronald Chammah] c

1988

Un été d'orages/Stormy Summer [Charlotte Brandstrom] c

1989

Aventure de Catherine C. [Pierre Beuchot] c

1990

La contre-allée/Both Sides of the Street [Isabel Sebastian] c

1990

China Moon [John Bailey] p/c; uwph: Jordan Klein Sr.; released in 1994

1992

Le grand pardon II/Day of Atonement [Alexandre Arcady] c; 2uc: Yves Dahan

1992

Cuisine et dépendances/Kitchen with Apartment [Philippe Muyl] c

1993

A Business Affair/D'une femme à l'autre [Charlotte Brandstrom] c

1993

Le petit garçon [Pierre Granier-Deferre] c

1993

Priez pour nous/Pray for Us [Jean-Pierre Vergne] c

1994

White Man's Burden/White Man [Desmond Nakano] c; 2uc: Scott Browner

1995

BSC: The Baby-Sitters Club [Melanie Mayron] c

1996

Le jour et la nuit/Day and Night [Bernard-Henri Lévy] c

1997

The New Swiss Family Robinson [Stewart Raffill] c; uwph: Jordan Klein Sr.

1999

Delivering Milo [Nick Castle] c; 2uc: Ira Brenner

2000

PC and the Web [Christopher Cain] c; live action + 3-D anim; unreleased (?)

2000

Pootie Tang [Louis C.K.] c

2004

Les joues rouges [Joëlle Miquel] b&w-c; short/11m

"Un été brûlant"

2010

Un été brûlant/A Burning Hot Summer [Philippe Garrel] p (+ D-Cinema)/c

[Right] with Philippe Garrel - "La jalousie"

[courtesy of Willy Kurant]

2013

La jalousie/J'ai gardé les anges [Philippe Garrel] Hawk Scope (+ D-Cinema)/b&w


 TELEVISION

1955

Françoise et la ville ou La ballade de l'orpheline [Jacques Boigelot] tvm/b&w/13m/16mm

1958

Ballade pour un homme seul [Serge Leroy] tvm/?m

1958

Expo-insolite [Serge Leroy] ?/?m

1958

Les oiseaux de la Cambre [Serge Leroy] ?

1958

Visages de la rue [Serge Leroy] ?

1959

Une journée à Chimay [Serge Leroy] doc/30m

1959

Hiver sur un bois [Serge Leroy] doc/5m

1959

Les hommes de Nieuport [Serge Leroy] doc/10m

1960

Pierre Caille [Jean Antoine] ?

1960

Fellini [André Delvaux] 4-part doc series/b&w; cph: René Lebrun, Jacques van Hollebeke & Charles Abel

1960

Charles Dekeukeleire [Jacques Boigelot] ?

1960

Sous les cylindres d'acier [Claude Gabriels] ?

1960

Le Moyen-Orient Arabe 1960 - Egypte, Liban, Syrie, Jordanie [Charles Godefroid] doc/?m

1960

Le Boeing 707 [Louis Verlant] ?

1961

En ce temps là... [Jacques Boigelot] ?

1961

Sur ces chemins... [Jacques Boigelot] ?

1961

Le Liban [Charles Godefroid] doc/?m

1961

Rythmes et chansons No. 1 [László Lugossy] ?

1961

Mon frère Jacques [Pierre Prévert] doc/b&w/240m

1961

Le créateur [François Weyergans] doc/42m

1961

Le circuit de la mort au Borinage/Borinage 61 [Paul Meyer] doc/b&w/15m

1965

Anna [Pierre Koralnik] tvm/86m; first color program for French tv (1967)

1965

Elsa/Elsa la rose [Agnès Varda & Raymond Zanchi] doc/b&w/19m/16mm; cph: William Lubtchansky; ep series 'Dim Dam Dom'

1966

The Immortal Story/Une histoire immortelle [Orson Welles] c; tvm/58m; made for ORTF-tv and cinema release

1967

Idea [Jean-Christophe Averty] mus special/?m (with the Bee Gees & Julie Driscoll); for ZDF-tv & RTB-tv (1968)

1976

Outside Chance/Jackson County Jail [Michael Miller] tvm

1994

Ils n'ont pas 20 ans [Charlotte Brandstrom] tvm

1995

The Little Riders [Kevin Connor] tvm

1995

Le cheval de coeur [Charlotte Brandstrom] tvm; sequel to 'Ils n'ont pas 20 ans'

1996

Rose Hill [Christopher Cain] tvm

1997

Drôle de père/Le père de Léa [Charlotte Brandstrom] tvm

1998

Le monde à l'envers [Charlotte Brandstrom] 2-part tvm

1998

Venise est une femme [Jean-Pierre Vergne] tvm

1999

Brigade spéciale [pilot 'La septième victime' dir by Charlotte Brandstrom] series

2001

Un couple modèle [Charlotte Brandstrom] tvm

2001

La vie dehors [Jean-Pierre Vergne] tvm


 FILMS AS CAMERA ASSISTANT

1957

A Night to Remember [Roy Ward Baker] ph: Geoffrey Unsworth

1957

The Gypsy and the Gentleman [Joseph Losey] ph: Jack Hildyard

1958

Innocent Sinners [Philip Leacock] ph: Harry Waxman

1959

Marche ou crève [Georges Lautner] ph: Roger Fellous


 TELEVISION AS DIRECTOR

1963

Vietnam: Madame Nhu [dir] report + interview/b&w/26m10s; ph: ?; ep series '5 colonnes à la une' (RTF1-tv)

1968

La Baie des Cochons [co-dir: Roger Benamou] doc (archive)/b&w; prod by Philippe Labro; ep series 'Caméra 3' (ORTF-tv)

1968

Cuba Diccionario [dir] doc/b&w/26m43s; ph: ?; ep series 'Caméra 3' (ORTF-tv)