Profile Image of Raoul Coutard

Raoul Coutard

1924-09-16 - 2016-11-08

Raoul Coutard (16 September 1924 – 8 November 2016) was a French cinematographer. He is best known for his connection with the Nouvelle Vague period and particularly for his work with director Jean-Luc Godard. Coutard also shot films for New Wave director François Truffaut as well as Jacques Demy, a contemporary frequently associated with the movement. He shot over 75 films during a career that lasted nearly half a century. Coutard originally planned to study chemistry, but switched to photography because of the cost of tuition. In 1945, Coutard was sent to participate in the French Indochina War; he lived in Vietnam for the next 11 years, working as a war photographer, eventually becoming a freelancer for Paris Match and Look. In 1956, he was approached to shoot a film by Pierre Schoendoerffer, La Passe du Diable. Coutard had never used a movie camera before, and reportedly agreed to the job because of a misunderstanding (he believed he was being hired to shoot production stills of the film). Coutard's first work collaboration with Jean-Luc Godard was Godard's first feature, À bout de souffle, shot in 1959. He was reportedly "imposed" on Godard by producer Georges de Beauregard; the director had already settled on a different cinematographer. Coutard photographed nearly all of Godard's work in the Nouvelle Vague era (1959 - 1967), with the exception of Masculin, féminin; their last work during this period was Week-end (1967), which marked the end of Godard's work as a 'mainstream' filmmaker. The two did not work together again until Passion; their final collaboration was Godard's next feature, Prénom Carmen. ... Source: Article "Raoul Coutard" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.