Philippe Rousselot

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Cinematographer, Artist, Filmmaker

To this day, Philippe Rousselot is still sensitive to the obstacles

facing the independent, bright child, who is not

the mainstream kid. In my first conversation with him, I was

unaware of his “childhood reality,” one of the few Jewish children

living in a town in post-World War II France. As a result

of this reality, his childhood was filled with loneliness and

isolation, but he learned to embrace this loneliness and make

it a part of who he is and who he has become.

His career is admirable. He began as an assistant to famed

cinematographer Nestor Almendros on Eric Rohmer-directed

films of the late 1960s and early 1970s. On his own, he lensed

several of the nostalgic films of director Diane Kurys (Peppermint,

Soda, Cocktail Molotov). For his versatile camerawork

on the film Diva, he won the first of his César awards

(the French Oscar). It was noted that the film was dependent

on Rousselot’s chic visuals.

His second César in 1986 was for the realistically stylish

film Therèse, and it was at about this time that he began

venturing into English-language cinema with Hope and Glory

(1987), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and Henry and June

(1991), for which he earned Oscar nominations. With A River

Runs Through It (1992), he finally won the Oscar, and two

years later, he won his third César for his camera work for

La Reine.

Although Rousselot is an acclaimed cinematographer and

his career has been a steady ascent, it is his childhood story

that tells you what you really need to know about the person

he has become.