Exhibition at EYE Master of Light – Robby Müller NSC

Exhibition at EYE Master of Light – Robby Müller Cinematographer of Jim Jarmusch, Lars von Trier, Wim Wenders and Steve McQueen

This summer EYE is presenting a major exhibition devoted to the Netherlands’ most famous director of photography, Robby Müller. Björk dancing in a factory, Johnny Depp floating seawards in a canoe, and Nastassja Kinski wearing a bright-red top: cameraman Robby Müller is responsible for these and countless other

 
robby-muller
Robby Muller NSC

memorable film moments from modern classics like Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, Dead Man, Down by Law, Barfly, 24 Hour Party People and Paris, Texas. Large video projections highlight the visual ingenuity and emotional complexity of Müller’s images in the exhibition, which also features items from his private archive. Also included are interviews with Wim Wenders, Lars von Trier and Jim Jarmusch, who discuss their collaboration with Müller and select and talk about a number of typical Müller scenes. From 4 June to 28 August 2016 at EYE, IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam, eyefilm.nl Robby Müller (Willemstad, Curaçao, 1940) is internationally celebrated for his pioneering camerawork for such directors as Wim Wenders, Lars von Trier and Jim Jarmusch. He has made a significant contribution to the success of a whole generation of independent film auteurs who emerged in the world of auteur cinema from the 1970s onwards.

 
dancer in the dark2000
Dancer in the Dark 2000

More than anybody else, Müller succeeds in uniting narrative, atmosphere and image into a single entity. A virtuoso in his treatment of light and shade, he prefers to use natural lighting in his characteristic wide shots and long takes. However, Müller never shoots a beautiful image as an end in itself. Rather, for him the story and look of a film must complement each other.
Müller has always embraced technological advancements and likes to explore new possibilities. Examples of this are his ‘handheld’ technique in Breaking the Waves, his deployment of video in 24 Hour Party People, and his use of 100 cameras in Dancer in the Dark. A frequent improviser, he remains receptive to the unexpected and to chance events while filming.

 
Paris Texas 1984
Paris Texas 1984

In Hollywood Robby Müller was presented with the International Award from The American Society of Cinematographers (2012). Wim Wenders: “He’s a great painter, one of the Dutch Masters, a traveller from the great era of painting across the age of film and right into the digital kingdom. A pioneer.” Jim Jarmusch: “I learnt so much from this man: about filmmaking; about a lot of things in life in general; and about light and about recording things and about capturing things in the moment and about trusting instinct.” Exhibition EYE is presenting the first large exhibition devoted to the work of this exceptional cameraman and ‘image maker’. Wim Wenders, Lars von Trier and Jim Jarmusch rank among the directors with whom Robby Müller has closely worked. EYE has asked them to express their vision on the remarkable qualities of Robby Müller, and to select what for them are typical Müller scenes. Large projections inside a spatial installation feature key fragments from the films shot by Müller with various directors. In passing, the exhibition reveals the emergence of the remarkable auteur cinema of the 1970s, and its continuation in the 1980s and 90s.

For the exhibition, EYE is also drawing on Müller’s private archive, consisting of dozens of Video8, Hi8 and DV tapes, in which he chronicles his life in the manner of a diary. Illuminating life on sets and location shoots, they reveal how Müller sees the world through his camera.

Müller’s private archive includes letters and notes from the directors he has worked with, original scenarios, set photos and lighting designs. Moreover, Müller has taken photographs all his life, and EYE is showing a remarkable selection of his Polaroid pictures, which also showcase the skill of this 'master of light.

 
american friend 1977
American Friend 1977


Furthermore, Müller has worked with filmmakers and visual artists who only later acquired world fame, among them Steve McQueen, for whom he shot Carib’s Leap. Material from these collaborative projects is also on display.

 
Photo by Robin Holland



Accompanying the exhibition is an extensive auditorium programme of lectures, film screenings and music. Filmography of Robby Müller (selection) 24 Hour Party People (Michael Winterbottom, 2002); Carib's Leap (Steve McQueen, 2002, short); Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000); Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, 1999); The Tango Lesson (Sally Potter, 1997); Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier, 1996); Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995); Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch, 1989); Barfly (Barbet Schroeder, 1987); Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, 1986); Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984); Repo Man (Alex Cox, 1984); Der amerikanische Freund (Wim Wenders, 1977); Im Lauf der Zeit (Wim Wenders, 1976); Falsche Bewegung (Wim Wenders, 1975)

 

coffe and cigarrettes 2003Coffe and Cigarrettes 2003