TWO AWARD WINNING CAMERAMEN TO SPEAK ON THE ART OF CINEMATOGRAPHY AT PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM
Annenberg Theater Council Lecture Will be Moderated by Dr. David Kaminsky
The third lecture in the Annenberg Theater Council’s ongoing lecture series at the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater will feature a panel discussion with two Academy-Award winning cinematographers on January 11, 2009 at 1 p.m. Held in between film screenings of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the panel will feature a lively conversation between Vilmos Zsigmond and John Toll and will be moderated by Dr. David Kaminsky, the former Vice-Chair of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and an executive-producer of an Academy Award-nominated short documentary film. Tickets for the lecture are $25 and can be purchased at the museum’s Box Office at 760.325.4490 or at annenbergtheater.org.
Sunday, January 11, 2009, 1 p.m.
Classic Images from the Great Hollywood Cameramen
Panel: Cinematographers Vilmos Zsigmond and John Toll; moderated by David Kaminsky, M.D.
Vilmos Zsigmond is an Academy Award winning cinematographer who has worked on such classics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Deliverance (1972), Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and The Long Goodbye (1973). Born in Hungary, he studied cinema at the Academy of Drama and Film and at Film Art in Budapest and began his career photographing the Hungarian revolution of 1956. Zsigmond shot footage of the Soviet invasion and then escaped to the United States where he sold the footage to CBS.
Settling in Los Angeles, Zsigmond began working at film labs as a technician and photographer. During the 1960s he worked on independent and educational films and became known for use of natural light and a vivid use of color. He gained prominence during the 1970s with work on Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) for which he won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
For years Zsigmond has made a point of sharing his knowledge about the art of lighting with aspiring cinematographers. He teaches many lighting seminars to budding filmmakers. Every two years he teaches a two-week seminar in Hungary for 16 students and 20 observers from all over the world.
John Toll, A.S.C.
John Toll received two consecutive Academy Awards in 1994 and 1995 for his cinematography on Legends of the Fall (1994) and Braveheart (1995). Toll also earned a 1989 Outstanding Achievement Award from his peers in the American Society of Cinematographers for his work on the TV pilot The Young Riders (1989). Toll has also worked on the films Vanilla Sky (2001) and Almost Famous (2000).
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Toll moved to Los Angeles where he worked for David Wolper Productions while studying for a liberal arts degree. He became a member of the Camera Guild early in his career and his first mainstream job was on the 1970s TV series The Rookies.
Toll prefers an unobtrusive, uncluttered style, where his natural aesthetic is making light feel natural and not manipulated. He learned how to deal with shifting and unpredictable weather patterns while filming the America’s Cup sailing adventure Wind on a twelve-meter boat in open seas. That led to Mel Gibson’s Braveheart (1995) which was shot in Ireland and Scotland where the climate can cycle through four seasons in a single day. The historical epic was a difficult shoot, and Toll achieved a raw, stark and almost primitive feel to the story of Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. His 1994 film Legends of the Fall also called for realism and visual style to raise the hero to mythic stature. In both films, Toll linked the characters to the surroundings.
Working with Terence Malick on The Thin Red Line (1998), Toll elevated his artistry to a new level. Handheld cameras create a sense of the immediate and make the audience feel they are watching the action from close range. Thus the screen became Toll’s canvas and he transformed images into the poetry of frightened men pondering the meaning of life.
The ATC lecture series concludes with a conversation between the accomplished American photographer Mary Ellen Mark and the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Dr. Daniell Cornell on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 6 p.m.
This lecture series is produced by Susan Bloom and Michael Childers.
Located downtown in an architecturally-significant E. Stewart Williams-designed building, the Palm Springs Art Museum features exciting exhibitions of contemporary, Native American, Western and Pre-Columbian art in spacious galleries. It features two sculpture gardens, stimulating lectures and educational programs for all ages, and offers diverse performances at its Annenberg Theater. The Art Museum is open six days a week; Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free to members; $12.50 for adults; $10.50 for seniors 62 and over; $5 for adult students and active-duty military with I.D. and free for youths 17 and under. For more information, call 760.322.4800 or visit www.psmuseum.org.
THIS LECTURE SERIES IS SPONSORED BY THE MUSEUM’S ANNENBERG THEATER COUNCIL. PRESENTING SPONSOR IS WELLS FARGO THE PRIVATE BANK.