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Lisa Rinzler

Lisa Rinzler

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Also Known As: Liza Rinzler Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New Jersey, USA Profession: director of photography, director, camera assistant, electrician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As one of a handful of successful female directors of photography, Lisa Rinzler has become established for her direct, no-nonsense work in such independent films as the Hughes Brothers' "Menace II Society" (1993) and Steve Buscemi's "Trees Lounge" (1996). The New Jersey-born Rinzler originally intended to pursue a career as a painter when she suddenly decided to become a cinematographer. Changing schools and majors, she completed her studies at NYU, earning a Louis B Mayer Fellowship. After graduation, she worked as often as she could on everything from music videos to short films (including Wim Wenders' "Reverse Angle" and two by Robert Mapplethorpe). Working her way up through the ranks, she began as an electrician and advanced to camera assistant ("Conversations with Willard Van Dyke" 1981) to shooting her first feature, the Troma Inc-produced comedy "I Was a Teenage T.V. Terrorist" (1985). Rinzler first garnered notice, however, for her work on Amos Kolleck's screwball comedy "Forever, Lulu" (1986). Rinzler went on to collaborate with several female directors. She shot Lilyan Sievernich's documentary "John Huston and The Dubliners" (1987), a harrowing look at the director on the set of his swan...

As one of a handful of successful female directors of photography, Lisa Rinzler has become established for her direct, no-nonsense work in such independent films as the Hughes Brothers' "Menace II Society" (1993) and Steve Buscemi's "Trees Lounge" (1996).

The New Jersey-born Rinzler originally intended to pursue a career as a painter when she suddenly decided to become a cinematographer. Changing schools and majors, she completed her studies at NYU, earning a Louis B Mayer Fellowship. After graduation, she worked as often as she could on everything from music videos to short films (including Wim Wenders' "Reverse Angle" and two by Robert Mapplethorpe). Working her way up through the ranks, she began as an electrician and advanced to camera assistant ("Conversations with Willard Van Dyke" 1981) to shooting her first feature, the Troma Inc-produced comedy "I Was a Teenage T.V. Terrorist" (1985). Rinzler first garnered notice, however, for her work on Amos Kolleck's screwball comedy "Forever, Lulu" (1986).

Rinzler went on to collaborate with several female directors. She shot Lilyan Sievernich's documentary "John Huston and The Dubliners" (1987), a harrowing look at the director on the set of his swan song, "The Dead." Nancy Savoca hired Rinzler to photograph "True Love" (1989) and Tamra Davis chose her for "Guncrazy" (1992). With Karen Bellone, Rinzler made her directorial debut on a short film, the AIDS drama "Death by Unnatural Causes" (1991).

In 1993, Rinzler scored a major success with the Hughes Brothers' "Menace II Society," a dark, gritty tale of inner city gangs and a teen trying to escape them. It was a hard-edged film with no stylistic flourishes and her spare work earned her an Independent Spirit Award. She later worked with the Hughes Brothers again on the crime drama "Dead Presidents" (1995), the story of a Vietnam vet turned crook.

Her work for Wim Wenders' "Lisbon Story" (1995) earned better reviews than the film itself, as Rinzler's artistic view of Portugal--a far cry from the ghettos of the Hughes Brothers--showed an artistry and impressive control of her medium. After the dreamlike experimental short "Black Kites" (1995), Rinzler photographed Steve Buscemi's dark comedy "Trees Lounge," set in the flat and tacky suburbs and bars of Long Island. She also offered crisp gorgeous images of Vietnam in the American independent "Three Seasons" (1999). Rinzler was among the interviewees discussing their work in the documentary "Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography" (1992).

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DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

1992:
Interviewed in documentary "Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography"
1993:
Breakthrough feature work as director of photography for the Hughes Brothers' "Menace II Society"
1995:
Earned particular notice for her work on Wim Wenders' "Lisbon Story" (released in USA in 1997)
1987:
First credit for cinematography, "I Was a Teenage T.V. Terrorist"
1996:
Was director of photography for Steve Buscemi's feature directorial debut "Trees Lounge"
:
Began shooting short films and documentaries, including Wim Wenders' "Reverse Angle" and two shorts directed by Robert Mapplethorpe
1991:
Directed short film "Death by Unnatural Causes"
1981:
First credit as camera assistant, "Conversations with Willard Van Dyke"
:
Originally intended to be a painter; attended art school; decided to become a cinematographer; switched schools and majors
1999:
Provided the crisp, haunting images for "Three Seasons", the first American independent film to be shot in Vietnam
:
Raised in New Jersey
1995:
Reteamed with the Hughes for "Dead Presidents"
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Education

Pratt Institute: New York, New York -
New York University: New York, New York - 1978

Notes

"I wanted to be a painter, but switched to studying film in college, because I wanted to add the dimensions of movement and time to my pictures. I was an obsessive student of lighting, although I'm not a particularly technical person. Lighting is more of an instinctual thing. I let the story be my guide. My job begins with listening to the director. . . You have to be spontaneous and bold and be willing to takle chances without being gratuitous." --Lisa Rinzler quoted in a Kodak ad, 1996.

On directing: "I feel like I'm just now beginning to get to a level of cinematography that is exciting for me, and I don't want to give that up. I want to shoot as much as I can to get to the next level--and at the same time stay fresh and continue experimenting." --Rinzler in LOS ANGELES TIMES, October 22, 1995

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Isabella. Has three, all older.
daughter:
Isabella. Born c. 1998.

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