Cinematographer. Nationality: French. Born: Meurthe et Moselle, France, 4 September 1945; moved from Paris to New York. Education: Attended "Vaugirard," Ecole Louis Lumiere Film School in Paris, 1964–66. Family: Married 1981; one daughter. Career: Early work on documentaries; worked as loader for Nestor Almedros on Ma Nuit Chez Maud (My Night at Maud's), 1969; worked in commercials and still photography with Sara Moon; camera assistant on Eric Rohmer films; directorial debut, The Serpent's Kiss, 1996. Awards: Prix Jean Vigo, for Paradiso, 1972; Prix Special, Cannes, for La Drolesse, 1978; National Society of Film Critics Award (USA) for Best Cinematography, and Cesar Award (France) for Best Cinematography, for Diva, 1982; Cesar Award for Best Cinematography, for Theresa, 1987; National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography, and British Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography, for Hope and Glory, 1987; Academy Award for Best Cinematography, for A River Runs Through It, 1993; British Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography, and BAFTA (UK) Award for Best Cinematography, for Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, 1994; Cesar Award for Best Cinematography, for La Reine Margot (Queen Margot), 1995. Agent: David Gersh, Gersh Agency, 232 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, U.S.A.
Films as Cinematographer:
Clair de Terre (Gilles)
Absences Repetees (Gilles)
Paradiso (Bricoult); L'Affiche Rouge (The Red Poster) (Cassenti); Pour Clemence (Belmont)
La Raison du Plus Fou (Reichenbach); Il Pleut Toujours (Simon)
Couple Temoin (Klein)
Diabolo Menthe (Peppermint Soda) (Kurys); Adam (Benamou)
La Drolesse (Doillon); La Vie de Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Goretta)
Cocktail Molotov (Kurys)
La Provinciale (The Girl From Lorranine) (Goretta)
Diva (Beineix); La Gueule du Loup (Leviant); Guy de Maupassant (Drach)
La Lune dans le Caniveau (Moon in the Gutter) (Beineix); Les Voleurs de la Nuit (Fuller)
Emerald Forest (Boorman); Night Magic (Furey)
Hope and Glory (Boorman)
Dangerous Liasons (Frears); Trop belle pour toi (Blier)
Henry and June (Kaufman); We're No Angels (Jordan)
The Miracle (Jordan); Merci la vie (Blier)
A River Runs Through It (Redford)
Sommersby (Amiel); Flesh and Bone (Kloves)
La Reine Margot (Quenn Margot) (Chereau)
Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (Jordan); Mary Riley (Frears)
The People vs. Larry Flint (Forman)
Random Hearts (Pollack)
Remember the Titans; The Tailor of Panama
Films as Camera Assistant:
Ma Nuit Chez Maud (My Night at Maud's) (Rohmer)
Le Genou de Claire (Claire's Knee) (Rohmer)
L'Amour l'apres-midi (Chloe in the Afternoon) (Rohmer)
The Serpent's Kiss (d)
On ROUSSELOT: articles—
Hewitt, C., "Anguish and Light Balls," in Eyepiece (Middlesex), vol. 15, no. 4, 1994.
"Interview with the Vampire," in American Cinematographer (Hollywood), January 1995.
"Rousselot at 'Serpent' Helm," in Hollywood Reporter, 5 February 1996.
Geffner, David, "Shooting Stars: Interviews with the World's Greatest Living Cinematographers," in MovieMaker, no. 29, July 1998.
* * *
Philippe Rousselot first caught the attention of Hollywood with his work as cinematographer on the John Boorman film Hope and Glory in 1986, but he had been celebrated throughout Europe and in his native France for many years prior. His work on the 1982 Diva won the Cesar (the French equivalent of the Academy Award) for Best Cinematography and propelled his career to new levels. He received another Cesar for Therese, a 1985 work which chronicled the life of a fiercely faithful Carmelite nun. Rousselot's work is lyrical, passionate, and subtle in its execution. His films never suffer from apparent technique, but reveal an appreciation for the sublime qualities of light and color.
Rousselot began his career as a camera assistant on several Eric Rohmer films. The first was Ma Nuit Chez Maud (1969), where he worked beside esteemed cinematographer Nestor Almendros as a camera loader. This apprenticeship was apparently instrumental in Rousselot's development. Rousselot credits this experience as a profound influence, along with his work in commercials with still photographer Sara Moon. Before this, though, there was Jean Cocteau. Rousselot was a child of eleven when he first saw the French avantgarde filmmaker's work, and he found them "so moving, emotionally, visually, and intellectually. They were complete magic to me," he told MovieMaker interviewer David Geffner. Other films which expanded his horizons included the works of Ingmar Bergman, Frederico Fellini, and the German Expressionists.
Rousselot embraced the masters from an early age, and he undoubtedly learned a great deal from all this study. By 1970 he was working as the Director of Photography on the French film Clair de Terre, and found such success that he performed in the same capacity in nearly two films per year in the first decade of his career. This prolific pace continued, with quality never suffering as Rousselot shaped important works by such directors as Phillip Kaufman (Henry and June), Neil Jordan (We're No Angels, Interview With the Vampire), Robert Redford, Sidney Pollack, Milos Forman, and many others.
Rousselot's work has won much praise from his peers. In 1993, he won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Redford's flyfishing film A River Runs Through It. It was his third nomination for the award. Honor has also come from the French Cesar Awards, where he has claimed the title of Best Cinematographer three times, for Beineix' Diva, Cavaliere's Therese, and Chereau's La Reine Margot (Queen Margot). Rousselot received the BAFTA, similar to the Cesar and the Academy Awards, for his work in Jordan's 1994 film Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, based on the best-selling book by Anne Rice.
Rousselot's work is highly praised in part because of his delicate lighting design. He uses such devises as Chinese lanterns to soften spectral light and shape his elegant compositions. He works to complement film content and tone with tailored illumination. This is especially evident in such films as Therese, where the lighting shifts to enhance the feeling of holiness within this tale of a young, remarkably passionate nun. His Henry and June shows a loving replication of tonal qualities seen in the still photographs of Brassai, a peripheral character in the film. One wonders where Rousselot's fine artistic sensibilities will lead him next, as he continues to work on an astonishing number of films from the most important directors of our time.
Rousselot, Philippe 1945-
Rousselot, Philippe 1945-
Born September 4, 1945 in Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. Education: Attended Vaugirard Film School, Paris.
Agent—Gersh Agency, 232 North Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
Cinematographer. Worked as a camera assistant and loader for cinematographer Nestor Almendros; Cannes Film Festival, member of jury, 1995.
Cesar Award, best cinematography, Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema, Moscow Award, best cinematography, 1982, National Society of Film Critics Award, best cinematography, 1983, for Diva; Cesar Award nomination, best cinematography, 1984, for La lune dans le caniveau; Film Award nomination, best cinematography, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1986, for The Emerald Forest; Cesar Award, best cinematography, 1987, for Therese; Best Cinematography Award, British Society of Cinematographers, 1987, Academy Award nomination (with John Harris), best cinematography, Film Award nomination, best cinematography, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, National Society of Film Critics Award, best cinematography, 1988, all for Hope and Glory; Cesar Award nomination, best cinematography, 1989, Film Award nomination, best cinematography, British Academy of Film and Televison Arts, American Society of Cinematographers Award nomination, outstanding achievement in cinematography in theatrical releases, 1990, all for L'ours; American Society of Cinematographers Award nomination, outstanding achievement in theatrical feature cinematography, Best Cinematography Award nomination, British Society of Cinematographers, 1989, Film Award nomination, best cinematography, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1990, both for Dangerous Liaisons; Cesar Award nomination, best cinematography, 1990, for Too Beautiful for You; Academy Award nomination, best cinematography, 1991, for Henry and June; Academy Award, best cinematography, American Society of Cinematographers Award nomination, outstanding achievement in theatrical feature cinematography, 1993, both for A River Runs Through It; Best Cinematography Award, British Society of Cinematographers, 1994, Film Award, best cinematography, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1995, both for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Cesar Award, best cinematography, 1995, for La reine Margot; Golden Palm Award nomination, Cannes Film Festival, 1997, for The Serpent's Kiss; Satellite Award nomination, outstanding cinematography, International Press Academy, 2005, for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Ma nuit chez Maud (also known as My Night at Maud's, Six Moral Tales III: My Night at Maud's, Six contes moraux III: Ma nuit chez Maud, and My Night with Maud), 1969.
L'genou de Claire (also known as Claire's Knee), 1970.
Un couple d'artistes (also known as An Artistic Couple), 1970.
Le clair de terre (also known as Earth Light), 1970.
Cote cour, cote champs, 1971.
Absences repetees (also known as Repeated Absences), 1972.
L'amour l'apres-midi (also known as Chloe in the Afternoon and Love in the Afternoon), 1972.
La raison du plus fou (also known as La raison du plus fou est toujours la meilleure and The Right of the Maddest), 1973.
Histoires d'A, 1973.
Cyrus le violoncelliste, 1975.
Il pleut toujours ou c'est mouille, 1975.
L'affiche rouge (also known as The Red Poster), 1976.
Pauline et l'ordinateur, 1976.
Le couple temoin, Planfilm, 1977.
Peppermint Soda (also known as Diabolo menthe), New Yorker, 1977.
Pour Clemence (also known as For Clemence), 1977.
Adom ou Le sang d'Abel, 1977.
Je veux mourir dans la patrie de Jean-Paul Sartre, 1977.
Pauline et l'ordinateur, 1978.
La drolesse (also known as The Hussy), New Yorker, 1979.
Cocktail Molotov, Putnam Square, 1980.
Vive la mariee, 1980.
La provinciale (also known as The Girl from Lorraine), Citel, 1980.
Diva, United Artists, 1980.
The Roads of Exile, Corinth, 1981.
La gueule du loup, 1981.
Guy de Maupassant, 1982.
Thieves after Dark (also known as Les voleurs de la nuit), Parafrance, 1983.
The Moon in the Gutter (also known as La lune dans caniveau and Lo specchio del desiderio), Triumph, 1983.
Des terroristes a la retraite (also known as Terrorists in Retirement), 1983.
Dream One (also known as Nemo), Columbia, 1984.
End of the Rainbow, 1984.
The Emerald Forest, Embassy, 1985.
Night Music, Visto International, 1985.
La nuit magique (also known as Night Magic), 1985.
Therese, Films A2/Circle, 1986.
(With John Harris) Hope and Glory, Columbia, 1987.
Dangerous Liaisons, Warner Bros., 1988.
L'ours (also known as The Bear), TriStar, 1989.
Too Beautiful for You (also known as Trop belle pour toi), Orion Classics, 1989.
We're No Angels, Paramount, 1989.
Henry and June, Universal, 1990.
The Miracle, Miramax, 1991.
Merci, la vie (also known as Thanks for Life and Thank you, Life), 1991.
A River Runs Through It, Columbia, 1992.
Sommersby, Warner Bros., 1993.
Flesh and Bone, Paramount, 1993.
La reine Margot (also known as Queen Margot, Die Bartholomaeusnacht, and La regina Margot), Miramax, 1994.
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (also known as Interview with the Vampire), Warner Bros., 1994.
Mary Reilly, TriStar, 1996.
The People vs. Larry Flynt (also known as Larry Flynt), Columbia, 1996.
Marie baie des anges, 1997.
Serial Lover, 1998.
(Archive footage) In and Out of Fashion, 1998.
Instinct, Buena Vista, 1999.
Random Hearts, Columbia, 1999.
Remember the Titans, Buena Vista, 2000.
The Tailor of Panama, Columbia, 2001.
Planet of the Apes, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2001.
Antwone Fisher, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2002.
Big Fish, Columbia, 2003.
Constantine, Warner Bros., 2005.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Warner Bros., 2005.
The Brave One, Warner Bros., 2007.
Lions for Lambs, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2007.
The Great Debaters, Weinstein Company, 2008.
Film Work; Other:
Camera operator, Le revelateur, 1968.
Second assistant camera operator, Ma nuit chez Maud (also known as My Night at Maud's, Six Moral Tales III: My Night at Maud's, Six contes moraux III: Ma nuit chez Maud, and My Night with Maud), 1969.
Assistant camera operator, L'genou de Claire (also known as Claire's Knee), 1970.
Assistant camera operator, L'amour l'apres-midi (also known as Chloe in the Afternoon and Love in the Afternoon), 1972.
Camera operator, What a Flash!, 1972.
Co-camera operator, Les naufrages de l'ile de la Tortue, 1974.
Camera operator for excerpts, Marie baie des anges, 1997.
Director, The Serpent's Kiss (also known as Le baiser du serpent and Der Schlangenkuss), New City Releasing/Studio Home Entertainment, 1997.
Himself, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory": Designer Chocolate (documentary short), Warner Home Video, 2005.
Television Cinematographer; Miniseries:
Les chemins de lexil, ou Les dernieres annees de Jean Jacques Rousseau, BBC, 1978.
Television Cinematographer; Episodic:
"Monsieur Albeniz," Il etait un musicien, 1979.