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Michael Ballhaus Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (2)

Born in Berlin, Germany
Died in Berlin, Germany

Mini Bio (1)

Michael Ballhaus was a German cinematographer. He worked on many American films, including Baby It's You (1983), Old Enough (1984), After Hours (1985), The Color of Money (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Dracula (1992), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Departed (2006).

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.

His son Florian Ballhaus is also a cinematographer who worked on Flightplan (2005) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

Ballhaus died on 11 April 2017, at the age of 81.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Spouse (2)

Sherry Hormann (27 October 2011 - 12 April 2017) (his death)
Helga Ballhaus (23 August 1958 - 28 September 2006) (her death) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Cinematographer of many films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Martin Scorsese and Mike Nichols.

Trivia (16)

Member of "Official Competition" jury at the 49th Cannes International Film Festival in 1996.
Together with Margaret Ménégoz head of the "Official Competition" jury at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival in 1990.
Member of the "Official Competition" jury at the 60th Venice International Film Festival in 2003.
As of 2016, was living in Berlin-Zehlendorf, Germany.
Got to know Rainer Werner Fassbinder, with whom he made 15 movies, in the late 1960s.
In 2007 he was the first German cinematographer to be honored with an "International Award" by the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).
Member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) since 1987.
Visiting the set of Lola Montès (1955) and watching cinematographer Christian Matras at work was an important inspiration for young Michael. His aunt was married to Max Ophüls, the film's director.
Retrospective and Homage at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in 2016.
He retired in 2016, suffering from glaucoma and nearly blind.
His uncle Carl Balhaus appeared in the classic M (1931) as the man who marked Peter Lorre with the sign "M".
Retrospective at the Cinémathèque Francaise in 2010.
He was the director of photography for six films that were nominated for the 'Best Picture' Academy Award: Broadcast News (1987), Working Girl (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Quiz Show (1994), Gangs of New York (2002) and The Departed (2006), which won 'Best Picture'.
In 2014, Michael Ballhaus released his autobiography, "Bilder im Kopf," in which he also discusses the gradual loss of his vision due to glaucoma.

Personal Quotes (1)

[in 2016, on how his difficult collaboration with Rainer Werner Fassbinder prepared him for his career in the U.S.] It helped a lot because he was not an easy director. He was very hard on me and he was very pushy. He always cracked the whip to be fast and not to spend too much time. So I learned to be fast and still tried to be good. That was a big help later when I started shooting in the States. It was also a big help because he was so temperamental that from then on I knew I could handle every director in the world.

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