Harris Savides, Legendary Cinematographer, Dies at Age 55
October 11, 2012
Harris Savides, the incredibly influential Greek-Cypriot cinematographer and high-fashion photographer, passed away today at the young age of fifty-five.
Savides is responsible for some of the most aesthetically impactful films of the last twenty years, such as Somewhere, American Gangster, Whatever Works, Margot at the Wedding, and Elephant, as well as a handful of music videos, like Madonna’s “Rain,” “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M., and Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.”
He worked with iconic directors, including Wong Ker-Wai, Martin Scorsese, Sophia Coppola, Woody Allen, David Fincher, Noah Baumbach, and Gus Van Sant on numerous projects and, although he was never nominated for an Oscar, he is sited by filmmakers worldwide as an innovator and an inspiration. The range of directors he worked with, each known for their distinct, original style, is testament to Savides vision, mutability, and preternatural understanding of the genre. His final project, Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” will be released early next year.
Savides had an appreciation of story telling that went beyond the mere technology of filmmaking that so many cinematographers can become blinded by. He said in an interview for the book New Cinematographers, “Shoot as much as you can, don’t be afraid and don’t be cocky. Just shoot, learn and expose film…Don’t get too involved in the technical stuff, learn it and then throw it away.” The absence of Savides’s refreshing, artistic approach to film will certainly be felt by all for a long time to come.