Michael Ballhaus, A.S.C.
|Died||12 April 2017 (aged 81)|
|Spouse(s)||Helga Maria Betten Ballhaus (1958–2006) (her death)|
Sherry Hormann (2011–2017) (his death)
Michael Ballhaus, A.S.C. (5 August 1935 – 12 April 2017) was a German cinematographer who was a regular collaborator of directors like Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, Frank Oz and James L. Brooks. He was a member of the Academy of Arts, Berlin and the American Society of Cinematographers.
Life and career
Ballhaus was born in Berlin, Germany as the son of German actors Lena Hutter and Oskar Ballhaus. Ballhaus was influenced by family friend Max Ophüls, and appeared as an extra in Ophüls' last film Lola Montès (1955).
He came to prominence with his work with Rainer Werner Fassbinder beginning with Whity (1971), in addition to The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Chinese Roulette (1976) and The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978). In 1990, he was the Head of the Jury at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.
After settling in the United States, he worked on many American films such as Baby It's You (1983) for John Sayles, Old Enough (1984) for Marisa Silver, Under the Cherry Moon (1986) for Prince, 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, Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) for Francis Ford Coppola, Sleepers (1996) for Barry Levinson and Wild Wild West (1999) for Barry Sonnenfeld.
Ballhaus was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, for Broadcast News (1987), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) and Gangs of New York, but never won any. However, he did win the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography for Goodfellas.
Ballhaus's documentary, In Berlin, together with Ciro Cappelari, was released in May 2009.
Helga Ballhaus (née Betten), Ballhaus' wife from 1958, appeared in a handful of films, including several directed by Fassbinder; she died in 2006. Their son Florian is also a cinematographer who worked on Flightplan and The Devil Wears Prada. In 2011, he married German-American film director Sherry Hormann known for Desert Flower. Michael Ballhaus was a nephew of the German stage and film actor Carl Balhaus who featured in The Blue Angel and M.
Ballhaus died at his home in Berlin, Germany on 12 April 2017, at the age of 81.
- 2007 Bavarian Film Awards Honorary Award
- A Conversation With Michael Ballhaus, ASC (November 20, 2006) at the Wayback Machine (archive index)
- Michael Ballhaus discusses his connection with the Austrian director in the documentary film Working with Max Ophuls: Lola Montès Revisited (2008).
- "Berlinale: 1990 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
- Filmreife Hochzeit in Zehlendorf!. bild.de, 28 Oct. 2011. Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
- Thomas Vorwerk, Das fliegende Auge: Michael Ballhaus im Gespräch mit Tom Tykwer
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