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Berlinale Hommage: Michael Ballhaus Meets Jim Rakete

17.02.2016 - Michael Ballhaus, Jim Rakete

Recipient of an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement, and subject of this year’s Berlinale Homage, Michael Ballhaus is one of the world’s most important directors of photography. Before spending 25 years working primarily in the USA, Ballhaus established his reputation in Germany where he worked with, among others, auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder, helping “Young German Cinema” achieve new artistic freedom. At the lens alongside great American directors such as Martin Scorsese, he had a decisive effect on the lighting and look of US moviemaking. Speaking with German photographer Jim Rakete, Ballhaus retraces key steps in his career, discusses the close collaboration between director and DOP and reflects on the art of using light, framing, focus and – above all – creativity to create the perfect image.

Excerpt in 360°


Michael Ballhaus

photo of Michael Ballhaus
Legendary director of cinematography with more than 100 films to his credits. He worked with directors like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wolfgang Petersen, Martin Scorsese, Barry Levinson, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Redford. In between his work in the US and Europe he repeatedly taught at several German film schools and influenced generations of filmmakers. This year, the Berlinale will award him an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement as well as this year’s Homage section.

Jim Rakete

photo of Jim Rakete
German photographer. He started out working for newspapers, magazines and news agencies. During the 70s and 80s he was active in the music scene as well as in theatre and film, managing German bands and artists like Nena and Nina Hagen as well as establishing his own agency “Die Fabrik”. His black and white portraits of Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, Mick Jagger, David Bowie or Samuel Beckett have become part of the worldwide iconography. He still is close to the filmmaking community, as famous portraits of Sean Connery, Natalie Portman, Wim Wenders or Götz George can attest.