Portrait of a Cinematographer (II) – Raoul Coutard
In the second part of the Portrait of a Cinematographer series, the author writes about Raoul Coutard, a famous cinematographer of the French new wave. He claims Coutard is the founder of the visual aesthetics of modern cinema. Cooperating with Godard, Truffaut (their different approaches to film creation are pointed out), Demy and others, Coutard developed a specific approach to film image characterized by shooting with existing light, dynamic camera, desire to achieve maximum reality on film. His photography marks a break with the up to then sterile aesthetics of the 1950s. It is focused on the everyday life, documentarism and authenticity. The author puts special focus on Coutard’s cooperation with Godard while mentioning work with other directors incidentally. The emphasis is on the films Breathless and Contempt, masterpieces of the new aesthetics. The author criticizes modernist and impressionist terms which are often present in discussions on Coutard’s work. Coutard followed some tendencies in film and brought them to perfection thanks to his collaboration with Godard.