‘Godfather’ Cinematographer Gordon Willis Dead at 82


Gordon Willis dead

Gordon Willis attends the 2009 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, November 14, 2009
Photo: Michael Yada / A.M.P.A.S.

When you think of Gordon Willis you think of his work on Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather trilogy, his lensing of All the President’s Men, his work on The Parallax View and Klute for Alan J. Pakula and, of course, Annie Hall and the beautiful black-and-white photography of Manhattan for Woody Allen. He’s an icon in the realm of cinema and cinematographers and over the weekend he passed away at the age of 82.

Willis was nominated for only two Oscars (The Godfather: Part III and Zelig) if you can believe it and was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2009 for “unsurpassed mastery of light, shadow, color and motion.” At least they got that right.

Below I’ve included a two-part interview with Willis from 2013 along with the iconic opening to Allen’s Manhattan, though that entire film could serve as a sizzle reel for his career. Also, click here for a great study in the color palettes Willis used for The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, Manhattan and Annie Hall.