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Sven Nykvist was considered by many in the industry to be one of the worlds greatest cinematographers. During his long career that spanned almost half a century, Nyvist perfected the art of cinematography to its most simple attributes, and he helped give the films he had worked on the simplest and most natural look imaginable. Indeed, Mr. Nykvist prideed himself on the simplicity and naturalness of his lighting schemes. Nykvist used light to create mood and, more significantly, to bring out the natural flesh tones in the human face so that the emotion of the scene could be played out on the face without the light becoming intrusive.Nykvist entered the Swedish film industry when he was 19 and worked his way up to becoming a director of photography. He first worked with the legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman on the film Wieczór kuglarzy (1953), but his collaboration with Bergman began in earnest with Zródlo (1960). From that point on, Nykvist replaced the great Gunnar Fischer as Bergmans cameraman, and the two men started a collaboration that would last for a quarter of a century. The switch from Fischer to Nykvist created a marked difference in the look of Bergmans films. In many respects, it was like the difference between Caravaggio and Rembrandt. Fischers lighting was a study in light and darkness, while Nykvist preferred a more naturalistic, more subtle approach that in many ways relied on the northern light compositions of the many great Scandinavian painters.Nykvists work with Bergman is one of the most glorious collaborations in movie history. Nykvist created a markedly different look for each installment of Bergmans Faith Trilogy. Jak w zwierciadle (1961) had an almost suffocating quality to it, and Milczenie (1963) hearkened back to the days of German Expressionism. Goscie Wieczerzy Panskiej (1963), the middle part of the trilogy, may very well be the most perfect work of Nykvists repertoire. Having studied the light in a real provincial church carefully, he then recreated the subtle changes in the light as the day went on on a Stockholm sound stage. Indeed, its hard to believe that the film was shot on a stage and not in a real church in Northern Sweden. For Persona (1966), Nykvist relied heavily on Swedens famous Midnight Sun. In Namietnosc (1969), Nykvist was able to capture the chilly, soggy, and melancholy look of Faro, one of Nykvists first color films Both Nykvist and Bergman were both very reluctant to film in color. He created a fascinating study of white and red in Szepty i krzyki (1972), for which Nykvist won an Oscar. He won an Oscar again for the last feature-length theatrical film that Bergman made, Fanny i Aleksander (1982).During the late 1970s, Nykvist began making films elsewhere in Europe and in the United States, working for directors such as Louis Malle (Slicznotka (1978)), Philip Kaufman (Nieznosna lekkosc bytu (1988)), Bob Fosse (Star 80 (1983)), Nora Ephron (Bezsennosc w Seattle (1993)), Woody Allen (Inna kobieta (1988), Zbrodnie i wykroczenia (1989)), Richard Attenborough (Chaplin (1992)), and fellow Swede Lasse Hallström (Co gryzie Gilberta Grapea (1993)). The documentary Ljuset håller mig sällskap (2000) paid homage to Nykvist, although it does not grant us any real secrets about his working methods. Nykvist died in 2006.. Date of Birth, 3December 1922,Moheda, Kronobergs län, Sweden ,Date of Death, 20September 2006,Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden (complications of primary progressive aphasia) ,Birth Name,Sven Vilhem Nykvist .
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