Posts tagged “#laszlokovacs

Once, twice, three times László Kovács

As previously mentioned, László Kovács worked with director Peter Bogdanovich on six full-length motion pictures, beginning with the 1968 thriller Targets. Just as directors over and over again chose Vilmos Zsigmond to be behind the camera, so too did they recognize the talent of his colleague and countryman. Dennis Hopper was another one of the first directors who recognized Kovács’ skill and put it to use on multiple occasions, producing another fruitful early relationship that helped László to cultivate the unique American New Wave style for which he and Vilmos are lauded. Kovács also worked on multiple films for directors Ivan Reitman, Richard Donner, and Graeme Clifford.

 

Barbara Streisand in Peter Bogdanovich’s 1972 “What’s Up Doc?”

Early in his career, László also routinely worked for the same B-movie directors–Al Adamson, Richard Rush, Peter Perry Jr.–more than once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about the remarkable movie careers of Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond at http://laszloandvilmos.com


The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

In 1972, László Kovács followed director Bob Rafelson, with whom he had worked on Five Easy Pieces, and Jack Nicholson, the film’s star, to a dreary wintertime Atlantic City, New Jersey to shoot a psychological drama in a similar vein: The King of Marvin Gardens. The real estate con at the heart of the plot tells a little about the depressed state of this pre-gambling resort town, which had seen many establishments go under in the previous decade, while new resort facilities were under construction. Kovács’ cinematography lent Rafelson’s film much of its psychological weight and dream-like feel. While not as acclaimed as Five Easy Pieces, The King of Marvin Gardens is a great film that is well worth another view.

The King of Marvin Gardens is available on DVD from the Criterion Collection.


“Mark of the Gun” coming to DVD in December

From Retromedia and BayView Entertainment comes the DVD release of Mark of the Gun (1969, dir. Walter Campos/Wally Campo), a film that was nearly lost, until a 35mm negative was recently discovered in a lab where it had sat unnoticed for nearly 45 years! Shot by László Kovacs, just prior the cinematographer embarked to make Easy Rider (1969, dir. Dennis Hopper), Mark of the Gun “is a classic western tale of outlaws and the women they love.”  The film stars Ross Hagen, a cult hero of 1960s b-movies who worked continuously until his death in 2011. The DVD will be released on December 11 and will contain bonus trailers.

 


NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY REVIEWED ON SLATE.COM

No Subtitles Necessary: László and Vilmos received a great review on the most recent edition of Slate.com’s Culture Gabfest podcast. Panelist Dana Stevens says that the documentary is “fantastic,” that “[she] learned a lot,” and that “between the two of them, [László and Vilmos] shot…basically all the good movies of the 70s.” You can hear the full podcast here.


Back Lit: László Kovács for “Shampoo” (1975)

Some of the most visually stunning moments of the film Shampoo (dir. Hal Ashby, 1975) come when László Kovács shoots the characters from the backside. Who can forget this image of Julie Christie in a deep v-backed sequin dress:

Julie Christie in “Shampoo”

Or the films ultimate scene of Warren Beatty gazing out upon a hazy Los Angeles vista:

Warren Beatty in “Shampoo”

Thanks to Here’s Looking Like You Kid for the images.

 


The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!! (1964)

Although it may have alluded some of their biographies and CVs, László Kovács and Vilmos Zsigmond worked together on The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, a campy zombie musical shot on location in Long Beach’s Pike Amusement Park. The two cinematographers may not have been proud of this film, which was has been dubbed the “worst movie ever made,” but the whole genre of camp horror has since garnered a cult following and a recent resurgence in film and television. This renaissance does not come without due credit being given to these two pioneers, who started their Hollywood careers by filming such exploitation movies after emigrating to the U.S. in the late 1950s.

“The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies,” 1964

Thanks to Tim Grobaty of the Long Beach Press-Telegram for digging up this gem: http://www.presstelegram.com/ci_21420323/tim-grobaty-long-beachs-role-zombie-apocalypse


Paradise Alley (1978), dir. Sylvester Stallone

Laszlo_Kovacs_Paradise_Alley

Coming off the success of Rocky (1976), Universal Pictures green-lighted Sylvester Stallone‘s Paradise Alley, a wrestling picture that the young actor wrote, directed, and stared in. László Kovács was behind the camera, capturing the Noir atmosphere of the New York’s seedy boxing parlors of the 1940s. It was pictures like this that led the films that Kovács and Szigmond shot to be labelled “American New Wave.”


Targets (1968), dir. Peter Bogdanovich

Targets, 1968

László Kovács first worked with Peter Bogdanovich, for whom he would photograph six full-length motion pictures, on the director’s first feature, Targets (1968). The film, which had a storied production, was produced by Roger Corman and starred Boris Karloff. Bogdanovich recognized Kovács’ talent at that time and employed the cinematographer consistently for the next decade.