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Haskell Wexler (6 February 1922 – 27 December 2015)

Haskell Wexler

An influential figure in the world of cinematography, Haskell Wexler was a true genius with the camera, a master of mood, light and colour. From his first feature, the wonderfully titled Stakeout on Dope Street (1958) (where he was credited as Mark Jeffrey, his two sons’ names), all the way through to the numerous documentaries he lensed in the last twenty years, Wexler has been an outstanding cinematographer, adding a distinct and lasting aura to the movies he worked on, including his first feature as a director, Medium Cool (1969). Along the way he picked up two Oscars, for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) and Bound for Glory (1976), and during the Sixties and Seventies (arguably his heyday) he worked with the likes of Milos Forman, Norman Jewison, Hal Ashby, and Francis Ford Coppola. But he kept going back to documentaries, either features or shorts, and it’s these movies, which often gave Wexler the chance to espouse his own political leanings, that form the bulk of his filmography. Watch any of the ten movies listed below and you’ll see just why he was regarded as one of the ten most influential cinematographers in cinema history.

The Loved One

1 – The Loved One (1965)

2 – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)

3 – In the Heat of the Night (1967)

4 – Medium Cool (1969)

5 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

6 – Bound for Glory (1976)

7 – Coming Home (1978)

8 – Matewan (1987)

9 – The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)

10 – Mulholland Falls (1996)

Mulholland Falls