Haskell Wexler dead: Cuckoo's Nest cinematographer was 93
Jeff Wexler wrote, “It is with great sadness that I have to report that my father, Haskell Wexler, has died. Pop died peacefully in his sleep, Sunday, December 27th, 2015. Accepting the Academy Award in 1967, Pop said: ‘I hope we can use our art for peace and for love.’ An amazing life has ended but his lifelong commitment to fight the good fight, for peace, for all humanity, will carry on.”
During his career, Haskell won two Oscars for Best Cinematography — one for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1967 and one for Bound for Glory a decade later. He earned three other nominations in the category for Cuckoo’s Nest, Matewan, and Blaze. In 1993, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society of Cinematographers.
Towards the end of his career, Haskell worked mostly on documentaries, such as Four Days in Chicago, Occupy Los Angeles, and Bringing King to China.
Offering insight into his ideology during a 1969 interview with Roger Ebert, he said of Medium Cool, “See, nothing is ‘real.’ When you take a camera down to Michigan Ave. and point it at what’s happening, you’re still not showing ‘reality.’ You’re showing that highly seductive area that’s in front of your camera. But there’s another element in the film. It has something to do with the professional, ‘just doing his job.'”