Michael Ballhaus

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Michael Ballhaus, A.S.C.
Michael Ballhaus.4676.jpg
Ballhaus in Berlin, 14 September 2007
Born (1935-08-05) 5 August 1935 (age 79)
Berlin, Germany
Occupation cinematographer
Spouse(s) Helga Mavia Betten Ballhaus (1958-2006) (her death)
Sherry Hormann (2011-)
Children Sebastian Ballhaus
Florian Ballhaus

Michael Ballhaus, A.S.C. (born 5 August 1935) is a German cinematographer. In 1990, he was the Head of the Jury at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Ballhaus was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of actors Lena Hutter and Oskar Ballhaus.[2] Ballhaus was influenced by family friend Max Ophüls,[3] and appears as an extra in Ophüls last film Lola Montès (1955).[4]

He came to prominence with his work on sixteen films for Rainer Werner Fassbinder beginning with Whity (1970) and, including The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Satan's Brew and Chinese Roulette (both 1976).

Since settling in the United States, he has also worked on many American films, including Baby It's You (1983) for John Sayles; After Hours (1985), The Color of Money (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Departed (2006) for Martin Scorsese; Dracula (1992) for Francis Ford Coppola, and Sleepers (1996) for Barry Levinson.

Ballhaus has been nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, for Broadcast News (1987), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), and Gangs of New York (2002), but has never won. He won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography for Goodfellas.

Ballhaus released his documentary In Berlin together with Ciro Cappelari in May 2009.

Personal life[edit]

His wife since 1958, Helga Ballhaus, née Betten, appeared in a handful of films, including several directed by Fassbinder; she died in 2006. Their son Florian is also a cinematographer (Flightplan, The Devil Wears Prada). In 2011, he married German-American film director Sherry Hormann (Desert Flower).[5] Michael Ballhaus is a nephew of the German stage and film actor Carl Balhaus (M, The Blue Angel).[6]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Berlinale: 1990 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  2. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/13/Michael-Ballhaus.html
  3. ^ A Conversation With Michael Ballhaus, ASC (November 20, 2006) at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Michael Ballhaus discusses his connection with the Austrian director in the documentary film Working with Max Ophuls: Lola Montès Revisited (2008).
  5. ^ Filmreife Hochzeit in Zehlendorf!. bild.de, 28 Oct. 2011. Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  6. ^ Thomas Vorwerk, http://www.satt.org/literatur/02_12_tykwer_1.html

External links[edit]