Owen Roizman, Iconic Cinematographer, Passes Away at 86
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 191
Owen Roizman, a well-known and significant cinematographer best recognized for his collaborations with Sidney Lumet and William Friedkin in the 1970s, passed away at the age of 86. The announcement was published on social media by the American Society of Cinematographers.
Roizman, a Brooklyn native, in 1936 fell in love with photography at a young age. Before making his feature film debut as a cinematographer on Bill Gunn's "Stop!" in 1970, Roizman worked at a camera rental shop like his father, who operated cameras for news broadcasts.
Roizman's 1970s filmography includes some of the most iconic and influential films in a variety of genres. For example, his work on Friedkin's "The French Connection" is widely regarded as some of the best car chase cinematography ever captured on film.
The realism and spectacle of the chase scenes through the streets of New York City continue to inspire filmmakers to this day. The horror film "The Exorcist," which was co-written and directed by Roizman and Friedkin and has some of the most iconic images in horror cinema history, also achieved immense popularity.
Additionally, Roizman contributed to hit movies including "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" and "Three Days of the Condor." One of the highlights of Roizman's career was his work on Sidney Lumet's "Network" in 1976. He famously contrasted the synthetic brightness of TV news studios with dark colors, creating a disorienting effect that has been praised for its artistic merit.
Roizman had a long history of involvement in the cinematography field, including roles as president of the American Society of Cinematographers and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors.
In 2017, he was given an honorary Academy Award. Roizman remained a renowned cinematographer even after his most well-known work in the 1970s. Notable works include Sydney Pollack's "Tootsie," Barry Sonnenfeld's "The Addams Family," and Lawrence Kasdan's "Wyatt Earp," for which he received his fifth and final Oscar nomination. Roizman stepped down in 1995.