Edward Lachman, ASC to Receive 2018 Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography Honor in Cannes

On May 18, the 2017 ASC Lifetime Achievement Award honoree will become the sixth recipient of this unique prize bestowed by the legendary French optics maker.
Above: Edward Lachman, ASC on the set of Erin Brockovich (2000). At top: Lachman shooting Wonderstruck (2017).

Edward Lachman, ASC will receive the Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography honor on Friday, May 18 at the Buñuel Theatre, Palais des Festivals, the event held during at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. He will be joined at the celebration by collaborators who have accompanied him throughout his career.

Every year, the Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography ceremony turns the spotlight on a director of photography whose work has marked the history of world cinema. Since its inception in 2013, tribute has been paid to Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC; Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, HSC in 2014; Roger A. Deakins, ASC, BSC in 2015Peter Suschitzky, ASC in 2016 and Christopher Doyle, HKSC in 2017.

With a career spanning 45 years and comprising an eclectic mix of more than 75 films and documentaries, Lachman has served as director of photography on films by directors including Werner Herzog, Jonathan Demme, Susan Seidelman, Dennis Hopper, Paul Schrader, Mira Nair, Andrew Niccol, Robert Altman, Todd Solondz and Larry Clark.

Many films which Lachman photographed were selected to screen at the Cannes Film Festival, including Lightning Over Water by Wim Wenders and Nicholas Ray, Little Wars by Maroun Bagdadi, A Gathering of Old Men by Volker Schlöndorff, The Virgin Suicidesby Sofia Coppola, Import/Export and the Paradise trilogy by Ulrich Seidl, and The Limey by Steven Soderbergh — whose Erin Brockovich the cinematographer also endowed with a crisp, realistic tone. (Angénieux zoom lenses were used in both films.)

Lachman during the production of I'm Not There (2007).

The event press release from Angénieux adds:

But it is in Todd Haynes’s last four films — Far From Heaven, I’m Not There, Carol and Wonderstruck— that Lachman’s work took on a new dimension, set between expressionism and intimacy, classical aesthetics and modern stylization.

His use of light underscores tormented characters’ psychological subtleties without bearing down on the sensitivities of highly emotional dramas. Julianne Moore (in Far From Heaven, 2002) and Cate Blanchett (in Carol, 2015), both fighting for their desire and licking their wounds, are magnificent women in a world whose contrasted hues bring to the fore the impossibility of love within a false, moralistic society.

Both films earned Lachman Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography. Furthermore, Carol and Wonderstruck screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

An art lover enthralled by his own work, he is akin to a painter using an infinite color palette. Endlessly experimenting and bold, Lachman has the amazing ability to “make” pictures that linger in us for a long time.

This year, Angénieux will open up the event to also recognize the work of a young filmmaker:  

While acknowledging the contribution of the greatest movie professionals, Angénieux will, for the first time in 2018 during the Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography ceremony, strongly affirm its interest in and support to fledgling creative talents in the international film industry.

This year, Angénieux will, during this exceptional ceremony, distinguish Chinese young cinematographer Cecile Zhang — who graduated with honors from the Beijing Film Academy — by giving her the opportunity to use an Angénieux zoom lens on her next project.

The lens — from the Optimo or Optimo Anamorphic range, as they will wish — will be on loan during the shooting stage. The winner will thus experience firsthand the image sharpness and quality of rendering helped establish the lenses’ reputation.

Learn more about this event here.


The 2016 Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography award, presented to Peter Suschitzky, ASC.

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