Newswire: R.I.P. Michael Ballhaus, cinematographer

Michael Ballhaus, the German director of photography known for his mastery of camera movement and his partnerships with directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Martin Scorsese, has died. One of the most remarkable cinematographers of his generation, Ballhaus brought the expressive and fluid camera of the classic studio long take—exemplified by director Max Ophüls, a family friend—into the strange new world of lightweight dolly tracks, zoom lenses, and Steadicam, and in the process created some of the most iconic and breathtaking shots of the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. He was 81.

Born into a well-known family of stage actors, Ballhaus developed an early interest in photography, but didn’t catch the film bug until the age of 19, when he was invited to the set of Ophüls’ final masterpiece, Lola Montès. (He appears in the film as an extra.) The experience inspired him to become a cinematographer, and he …

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