Vittorio Storaro, who won Oscars for his work on “Apocalypse Now,” “Reds” and “The Last Emperor,” will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers.
“Apocalypse” director Francis Ford Coppola will present the award at ASC’s gala awards dinner Feb. 18.
Storaro is the 12th recipient of the award, considered the org’s pinnacle achievement. He follows in the footsteps of such influential D.P.s as Conrad Hall, Sven Nykvist, Owen Roizman, Vilmos Zsigmond and Gordon Willis.
“(Storaro) has made an incomparable impact as a cinematographer, both as an artist and as a champion of our art form,” Roizman said Wednesday at an ASC clubhouse luncheon celebrating the announcement. “He was the first to say, ‘cinematography is like a language that we can write with light.’ ”
Storaro, whose work with fellow Italian Bernardo Bertolucci is considered one of the most seminal filmmaking tandems in history, expressed his gratitude to the gathering of fellow D.P.s and execs in attendance. “Thank you for making me feel not just like an Italian cinematographer or a European cinematographer but simply a cinematographer.”
He went on to thank Coppola “for taking me out of my own nest” and introducing his work to a more international audience.
“All of the (previous ASC Lifetime honorees) have left an imprint,” Storaro said. “But we didn’t do that by ourselves; I was lucky to work with Coppola, Bertolucci, Warren Beatty and Carlos Saura.”
It is with these four directors that the 60-year-old D.P., the youngest to receive a lifetime achievement honor, has created his most memorable and influential work. With Coppola he shot “Apocalypse Now,” “One From the Heart” and “Tucker: The Man and His Dream”; Beatty worked with Storaro on such films as “Reds,” “Dick Tracy” and “Bulworth”; with Saura, Storaro created the look for “Flamenco,” “Tango” and the current “Goya in Bordeaux.”
But his collaborations with Bertolucci caused his peers and critics to take notice, beginning with “The Conformist” (1970) and continuing on such films as “Last Tango in Paris,” “1900,” “The Last Emperor” and “The Sheltering Sky.”