Michael Ballhaus, A.S.C. (5 August 1935 – 12 April 2017) was a German cinematographer who had collaborated with directors such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, and James L. Brooks. He was a member of the Academy of Arts, Berlin and the American Society of Cinematographers.
Ballhaus in 2007
|Died||12 April 2017 81) (aged|
(m. 1958; died 2006)
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, Broadcast News (1987) and I'll Do Anything (1994) for James L. Brooks, The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) for Steve Kloves, 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 his work on Broadcast News, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Gangs of New York, but never won any. Despite this, he did win the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Bram Stoker's Dracula; both the Boston Society of Film Critics and Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography for his work on The Fabulous Baker Boys; and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Goodfellas.
Ballhaus's documentary, In Berlin, which he made with Ciro Cappelari, was released in May 2009.
Personal life and death
Helga Maria Betten Ballhaus, Ballhaus' first wife from 1958, appeared in a handful of films, such as those 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, who is known for Desert Flower. Ballhaus was also the nephew of German stage and film actor Carl Balhaus, who starred 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 14 March 2011.
- 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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