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Raoul Coutard, Legendary French New Wave Cinematographer, Dies at 92

He is best known for collaborations with directors Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut.

Raoul Coutard

Criterion Collection, Screenshot

Raoul Coutard, a prominent figure in French cinema, has died after suffering from a long illness. He was 92.

The cinematographer passed away on Tuesday night, near Bayonne, France. The news was confirmed by the French newspaper Le Figaro who was notified by his family. The specific cause of death is yet unknown.

READ MORE: Ted V. Mikels, Legendary Grindhouse Filmmaker Behind ‘The Doll Squad’ and More, Dies At 87

Coutard was born on September 16, 1924 in Paris. He is most associated with the New Wave period and shooting most of Jean-Luc Godard’s early films (“Breathless,” “Contempt,” “My Life to Live”) along with his collaborations with Francois Truffaut (“Shoot the Piano Player,” “Jules and Jim”).  He also was the director of photography on Costa Gavras’ “Z.”

His career lasted nearly half a century and included over 80 features. He made his directorial debut in 1970 with the film “Haoa Binh,” which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. He also directed “Operation Leopard” in 1980 and “S.A.S. à San Salvador” in 1983. In 1978 he won the César Award for Best Cinematography for his work on “Le Crabe-Tambour”  and in 1983 won the Venice Film Festival Technical Prize for “Prénom Carmen.”

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