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Edward Lachmann ASC presented with EnergaCAMERIMAGE Lifetime Achievement Award

Mar 1, 2024

Ed Lachman ASC, is one of those cinematographers who cannot be easily categorised. He is a true master of the moving image, and his creative approach, inspired by painting, photography, and European cinema, has led to collaborations with directors such as Todd Haynes, Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh, Ulrich Seidl, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Jean-Luc Godard, earning him three Oscar nominations, among other accolades. This exceptional cinematographer, a recipient of the Golden, two Silver, and one Bronze Frog, has accepted the EnergaCAMERIMAGE Lifetime Achievement Award. He will be visiting Toruń in November to accept this honour at the film festival.

Edward Lachman was born on March 31st, 1946 in Morristown, New Jersey. His grandfather (on the mother’s side) owned a number of vaudeville theatres in the 1920s, which were later converted into movie houses, co-managed together with his son-in-law (Ed’s father), a film theatre distributor, who eventually acquired a small cinema in the town of Boonton, New Jersey. Additionally, he represented a French company Lorraine Carbone, which sold arc carbons, the light sources used in film projectors. Therefore, it is safe to say that Ed Lachman literally grew up immersed in the light of cinema.

“Airport Beirut-Kuwait”
(© Ed Lachman’s private archive)

With his background, Ed Lachman connected to European cinema and American independent filmmaking, both of which offer opportunities for unconventional and often experimental visual storytelling, especially in the context of more personally driven narratives. His extensive filmography includes numerous collaborations with directors such as Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven, I’m Not There, Carol, Wonderstruck, Dark Waters, Mildred Pierce miniseries, and documentary The Velvet Underground), Ulrich Seidl (Import/Export and The Paradise Trilogy: Faith, Love, Hope), Steven Soderbergh (The Limey and Erin Brockovich), Gregory Nava (Selena, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, My Family) and Paul Schrader (Light Sleeper, Touch). He served as the cinematographer for Sofia Coppola’s debut feature, The Virgin Suicides and lensed such films, as True Stories (dir. David Byrne), Less Than Zero (dir. Marek Kanievska), Backtrack (dir. Dennis Hopper), Mississippi Masala (dir. Mira Nair), S1m0ne (dir. Andrew Niccol), Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman’s last film), as well as Desperately Seeking Susan and Making Mr. Right directed by Susan Seidelman, just to name a few. Lachman’s inaugural narrative feature was The Lords Of Flatbush in 1974, directed by Martin Davidson and Stephen Verona, while his most recent one is El Conde (2023), in collaboration with director Pablo Larraín. Their second film together, titled Maria and starring Angelina Jolie in the lead role, is currently in the post-production stage.

In addition to his distinguished career as a cinematographer, Ed Lachman has ventured into directing. His directorial debut in the feature film realm was Ken Park (2002), a collaborative effort with Larry Clark. Furthermore, he has made notable contributions to the documentary genre, lensing films such as Lighting Over Water (dir. Nicholas Ray and Wim Wenders), In Our Hands (dir. Robert Richter and Stanley Warnow), Ornette: Made In America (dir. Shirley Clarke), Mother Teresa (dir. Ann Petrie and Jeanette Petrie), Soldiers Of Music (dir. Albert Maysles and Susan Froemke), Collapse (dir. Chris Smith), and Don’t Blink – Robert Frank (dir. Laura Israel). Additionally, he has independently directed documentaries, including Report From Hollywood, Cell Stories, Life For A Child and In The Hearts of Africa.

Edward Lachman on the set of documentary “La soufrière”
(© Ed Lachman’s private archive)

Edward Lachman is one of the most renowned contemporary cinematographers. His unique approach to visual storytelling is evident in every production he has worked on during his career spanning over five decades, making him a truly exceptional artist. Ed Lachman will be welcomed once again to EnergaCAMERIMAGE, where he will receive the prestigious Golden Frog for Lifetime Achievement Award. His visit will also feature a retrospective of his films and a series of audience meetings, which you should not miss!

Header Photo: Edward Lachman (photo by Grzegorz Piekarski © Camerimage)

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