Did I read this obituary because it was about a successful Hollywood DP? Or did I read it because I'm getting older?
I read it because I'd never heard of him before, and I hate my own ignorance.
Curiosity and shame can be wonderfully useful tools, and this turned out to be a perfect example. Within minutes I learned (this is when the web is an amazing thing) that beyond winning an Oscar for the last black and white film that would ever win, he wrote, directed and shot MEDIUM COOL.
What makes MEDIUM COOL interesting?
It's a feature-length film written a month before -- and shot during -- the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. It combines fiction and documentary filmmaking. And it challenges those of us who make films to question what our roles and ambitions ought to be.
I also suggest watching a documentary about the making of the film, LOOK OUT, HASKELL, IT'S REAL!