Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller has passed away. The 78-year-old cinematographer is best known for his work on the Wim Wenders movie Paris, Texas and for his frequent collaborations with directors like Jim Jarmusch and Lars von Trier.
Born in Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, Müller is a renown, award-winning cinematographer whose career has included collaborations with directors like three-time Academy Award nominee Wim Wenders on Paris, Texas and Academy Award winner Steve McQueen on Carib’s Leap. Referred to as the "master of light," Müller studied at the Netherlands Film Academy before working on his very first feature-length movie with Wenders titled Summer in the City. Best known for putting an emphasis on natural lighting and color in his work, Müller would eventually go on to receive major award recognition, including four Film Independent Spirit Award nominations (three of which were from movies by Jarmusch), a Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award, and an American Society of Cinematographers, USA International Award. Müller passed away at 78 after a 50-year-long career in cinematography.
According to The Independent, the cinematographer's family revealed that Müller - whose last project was on a short film titled Ashes in 2014 - had been ill for a while prior to his death. He had been reportedly suffering from the degenerative disease vascular dementia. Directors that he had worked with in the past spoke about their relationships with the cinematographer, complimenting Müller on his talent and knowledge of film. McQueen likened him to a blues musician, saying that "There’s a certain kind of magic or poetry to whatever he shoots," while Jarmusch told IndieWire that he likely wouldn't "know anything about filmmaking, or about so many other things" had it not been for Müller.
Along with frequently collaborating with various directors, the late cinematographer also worked on all three entries in Wenders' Road Movie trilogy, which included Alice in the Cities, The Wrong Move, and Kings of the Road. As a whole, Müller and Wenders worked on nine different movies together.
Müller played a significant role in crafting a visual identity for independent movies from celebrated indie directors. In fact, much of his visual influence can even be seen in modern blockbusters, with James Mangold's Logan being a major standout. Visually-speaking, there are several nods to Müller's work in the movie, which writer Priscilla Page pointed out on her personal Twitter account by placing screenshots from Logan and Paris, Texas side-by-side. Writer/filmmaker Amos Posner agreed, commenting that some of the cinematography in Logan was also similar to Müller's work in Wenders' Alice in the Cities.