Michael Ballhaus  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Michael Ballhaus, A.S.C. (5 August 1935 – 11 April 2017) was a German cinematographer. In 1990, he was the Head of the Jury at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.

Life and career

Ballhaus was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of actors Lena Hutter and Oskar Ballhaus. and appears as an extra in Ophüls last film Lola Montès (1955).

He came to prominence with his work on sixteen films for Rainer Werner Fassbinder beginning with Whity (1971) and, including The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Chinese Roulette (1976) and The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978).

After settling in the United States, he worked on many American films, including Baby It's You (1983) for John Sayles; Old Enough (1984) for Marisa Silver; After Hours (1985), The Color of Money (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Departed (2006) for Martin Scorsese; Dracula (1992) for Francis Ford Coppola, and Sleepers (1996) for Barry Levinson.

Ballhaus was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, for Broadcast News (1987), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), and Gangs of New York (2002), but never won. However, he did win the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography for Goodfellas.

Ballhaus' documentary In Berlin, together with Ciro Cappelari, was released in May 2009.

Personal life

Helga Ballhaus (née Betten), Balhaus' wife from 1958, appeared in a handful of films, including several directed by Fassbinder; she died in 2006. Their son Florian is also a cinematographer who worked on Flightplan and The Devil Wears Prada. In 2011, he married German-American film director Sherry Hormann known for Desert Flower. Michael Ballhaus was a nephew of the German stage and film actor Carl Balhaus who featured in The Blue Angel and M.

Ballhaus died on 11 April 2017, aged 81.

Filmography

Year Film Director Other notes
1971 Whity Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Beware of a Holy Whore Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte
1972 The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
1973 World on a Wire Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Welt am Draht
1974 Martha Rainer Werner Fassbinder
1975 Fox and His Friends Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Faustrecht der Freiheit
Mother Küsters' Trip to Heaven Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Mutter Küsters' Fahrt zum Himmel
1976 Sommergäste
Satan's Brew Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Satansbraten
Chinese Roulette Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Chinesisches Roulette
1978 Germany in Autumn Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Deutschland im Herbst
Despair Rainer Werner Fassbinder
1979 The Marriage of Maria Braun Rainer Werner Fassbinder German Title: Die Ehe der Maria Braun
The First Polka Klaus Emmerich German Title: Die erste Polka
1981 Lili Marleen Rainer Werner Fassbinder
1982 Dear Mr. Wonderful Peter Lilienthal
1983 Sheer Madness Margarethe von Trotta German Title: Heller Wahn
Baby It's You John Sayles
1984 Reckless James Foley
Old Enough Marisa Silver
Heartbreakers Bobby Roth
Das Autogramm Peter Lilienthal
1985 After Hours Martin Scorsese Nominated - Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
1986 Under the Cherry Moon Prince
The Color of Money Martin Scorsese
1987 The Glass Menagerie Paul Newman
Broadcast News James L. Brooks Nominated - Academy Award for Best Cinematography
1988 The House on Carroll Street Peter Yates
The Last Temptation of Christ Martin Scorsese
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Frank Oz
Working Girl Mike Nichols
1989 The Fabulous Baker Boys Steve Kloves Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Cinematography
1990 Postcards from the Edge Mike Nichols
Goodfellas Martin Scorsese Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
1991 Guilty by Suspicion Irwin Winkler
What About Bob? Frank Oz
1992 The Mambo Kings Arne Glimcher
Bram Stoker's Dracula Francis Ford Coppola Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
1993 The Age of Innocence Martin Scorsese Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
1994 I'll Do Anything James L. Brooks
Quiz Show Robert Redford
1995 Outbreak Wolfgang Petersen
1996 Sleepers Barry Levinson
1997 Air Force One Wolfgang Petersen
1998 Primary Colors Mike Nichols
1999 Wild Wild West Barry Sonnenfeld
2000 What Planet Are You From? Mike Nichols
The Legend of Bagger Vance Robert Redford Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
2002 Gangs of New York Martin Scorsese Nominated - Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
2003 Uptown Girls Boaz Yakin
Something's Gotta Give Nancy Meyers
2006 The Departed Martin Scorsese Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
2013 3096 Sherry Hormann




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Michael Ballhaus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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