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Overview for Thomas Mauch
Thomas Mauch

Thomas Mauch


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Birth Place: Germany Profession: Cinematography ... director of photography director producer writer lecturer still photographer


This prolific German director of photography is best-known for his 21-year collaboration with director Werner Herzog. He has been called The Godfather of New German Cinema and his early harsh, black-and-white style became synonymous with the dark, gritty films of the era.

After getting his start as a stills photographer in 1954, Mauch joined Gesellschaft fur Bildende Filme in 1957. He worked on scores of short and feature films before getting his first director of photography credit, on the 1965 short "Unendliche Fahrt." Mauch was the cinematographer for influential German film makers Edgar Reitz and Alexander Kluge from the late 1950s through the 80s, and teamed for the first time with Werner Herzog on the 1967 short "Letzte Worte." The two went on to make more than 20 films together, including some classics of the German cinema. "Aguirre der Zorn Gottes/Aguirre, The Wrath of God" (1972) starred Klaus Kinski as a conquistador searching for El Dorado, and "Fitzcarraldo" (1982), their most famed collaboration, had that same actor trekking through the Andean jungles. A documentary on that hellish shoot, "Burden of Dreams," was released the same year.

Mauch has also directed a handful of film and TV projects, beginning with the short "General Yeh" (1964), and produced the film "Neun Leben hat die Katze" (1968). Though nearly all of Mauch's films have been made in his native West Germany, he has also traveled the world: Peru ("Fitzcarraldo"), Brooklyn ("Huie's Predigt," 1980), Mexico and Hawaii ("Radioactive Dreams," 1986), Israel ("War Zone," 1986) and Vienna ("Cobra Verde," 1988).

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