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Nestor Almendros

Nestor Almendros

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Also Known As: John Nestor Died: March 4, 1992
Born: October 30, 1930 Cause of Death: AIDS-induced lymphoma
Birth Place: Barcelona, ES Profession: director of photography, director, documentarian, author, screenwriter, producer, cameraman, Spanish teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Award-winning international cinematographer who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 70s. Almendros' crisp black-and-white style recalled the early silent masters and he also did brilliant color work for Francois Truffaut (eight features, from 1969's "The Wild Child" to 1982's "Confidentially Yours") and Eric Rohmer (the black-and-white "My Night at Maud's" in 1969 and the sun-dappled "Claire's Knee" in 1970). During this period, Almendros collaborated with producer-director Barbet Schroeder on "More" (1969), "Maitresse" (1975) and the documentaries "General Idi Amin Dada" (1974) and "Koko, the Talking Gorilla" (1978).

Award-winning international cinematographer who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 70s. Almendros' crisp black-and-white style recalled the early silent masters and he also did brilliant color work for Francois Truffaut (eight features, from 1969's "The Wild Child" to 1982's "Confidentially Yours") and Eric Rohmer (the black-and-white "My Night at Maud's" in 1969 and the sun-dappled "Claire's Knee" in 1970). During this period, Almendros collaborated with producer-director Barbet Schroeder on "More" (1969), "Maitresse" (1975) and the documentaries "General Idi Amin Dada" (1974) and "Koko, the Talking Gorilla" (1978).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Nadie Escuchaba (1988) Director
2.
  Mauvaise Conduite (1984) Director
3.
  Castro's Cuba: Two Views (1990) Director ("Nobody Listened")
4.
  Ritmo de Cuba (1960) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1948:
Moved to Cuba after WWII, following his father who had moved there at the end of the Spanish Civil War
:
Co-founded Havana's first cine-club, wrote film criticism for local publications and directed six 8mm and 16mm shorts
:
Moved to New York; made two 16mm underground shorts, "The Mount of Luna" and "58-59"; contributed to FILM CULTURE magazine (date approximate)
:
Taught Spanish at Vassar College
:
Returned to Cuba after Fidel Castro's ascention to power; made documentaries in Cuba celebrating the Cuban revolution at ICAIC
1961:
Directed two non-government sponsored shorts, "Gente en la Playa" and "La Tumba Francesca"; banned by the government
1962:
Moved to Paris
1964:
First collaboration with Eric Rohmer, the short "Nadia a Paris"
1965:
Visited location of "Paris vu par.../Six in Paris" on day that cinematographer walked off in a dispute; volunteered to take over and was hired as director of photography for the Eric Rohmer and Jean Douchet episodes of the omnibus feature
1966:
Made shorts and directed documentaries for educational television
1966:
First feature as sole director of photography, Rohmer's "La Collectionneuse"; went on to make eight more films with Rohmer
1967:
Co-shot first US film, "The Wild Racers" in France
:
Won particular praise for cinematography on Rohmer's "Ma Nuit Chez Maud/My Night at Maud's" and "Claire's Knee"
1969:
First of nine films with director Francois Truffaut, "The Wild Child"
1974:
Went to USA to film Monte Hellman's "Cockfighter/Born to Kill"
1975:
Created the appropriate atmosphere through meticulous use of light for Truffaut's study of obsessive love "L'Histoire d'Adele H./The Story of Adele H."
1978:
Won an Oscar for his lyrical work on Terrence Malick's "Days of Heaven"
1979:
Earned second Academy Award nomination for his pristine cinematography for "Kramer vs. Kramer"; first of five films with director Robert Benton
1980:
Shot "The Blue Lagoon"; received third Oscar nomination
1982:
Served as director of photography for "Sophie's Choice"; earned fourth Oscar nomination
1983:
Final collaboration with Truffaut, "Confidentially Yours"
1984:
Shot Richard Avedon directed-commercials for Calvin Klein
1984:
Was cinematographer on Benton's semi-autobiographical "Places in the Heart"
1990:
Served as director of photography for the Martin Scorsese's short about Giorgio Armani, "Made in Milan"
1991:
Last film as cinematographer, "Billy Bathgate", directed by Benton; also shot (uncredited) the photo-booth sequence in "The Mambo Kings" (1992)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Havana University: - 1955
Havana University: - 1955
City College of New York: New York , New York - 1956
Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia: - 1956

Notes

"Most cameramen are technicians or liars. When started, I found that my job consisted principally in de-lighting sets, that is removing all the fake, conventioanl movie lighting that had been set up by lighting technicians. They were old-fashioned. They believed in a very glossy kind of photography, that faces should never be in a shadow, that there should always be a lot of back lighting, with no shadows in the sets anywhere." --Nestor Almendros in a 1971 interview (quoted in his The New York Times obituary, March 5, 1992).

Named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government (1976)

Family close complete family listing

father:
Herminio Almendros. University professor. Republican Loyalist who left Spain for Havana after the Spanish Civil War.
mother:
Maria Almendros. Teacher.
brother:
Sergio Almendros.
sister:
Maria Rosa Almendros.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"A Man With a Camera" Farrar, Straus & Giroux

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