In March 2020 Chris Menges ASC BSC will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Imago during their ceremony in Brussells
Chris has inspired a generation of cinematographers, directors, critics and viewers with the wonderful images he has produced over the last half century. His work includes Kes, Michael Collins, Local Hero, A World Apart and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estarada, and The Killing Fields and The Mission, both of which afforded him well deserved American Academy Awards.
Killing Fields still - courtesy of Goldcrest
Nigel Walters BSC writes: After arrest in Zanzibar during a revolution, Michael Parkinson, describes Chris Menges: “a newcomer to World in Action, a quiet, seemingly shy young man with almost a diffident manner, yet a fearless operator.” A year later in Nepal working on a film series on Buddhism he quoted in his diary ”selfishness is the greatest evil and until egotism is eliminated demons will await with an open mouth.” He felt immense pride in working for” a weekly television program to fight injustice with bravery.”
Crossing the peaks of Nepal to film the ambush of Chinese supply vehicles in Tibet in 1964 he writes; “we zipped our bodies inside our lightweight sleeping bags. We lay on a grassy slope covered in snow and cracking frost. It was very, very, cold. Stars came and vanished as banks of cloud came across the sky.”
The Camerimage book, simply titled CHRIS MENGES is written with honesty and passion. It is the latest addition to the historic Series published by Camerimage for which all cinematographers should be grateful. To the list of Vittorio Storaro, Vilmos Zsigmond, Laszlo Kovacs, Guiseppe Rotunno, Billy Williams, Owen Roizman, William A Fraker, Freddie Francis, Tonino Delli Colli, Robby Muller, Stephen Golblatt, Pierre Lhomme, Dante Spinotti. Michael Ballhaus, John Seale, Vadim Yusov, Slawomir Idziak and Caleb Deschanel, Camerimage has now added with pride the name Chris Menges.
The following are observations from readers:
“I hope some of the young ones learn, not only the technique but the ideas and politics that motivate it - Ken Loach.
“Your career will become a template for masses of film hopefuls because you didn’t merely try to do it, you actually did it and succeeded triumphantly”- Kevin Brownlow,
“This book is so beautiful. It is a remarkable document. I loved it and I was very moved by it”-
“We are inspired. This book will serve the young generation well- Tenzin Phuntsog
Chris Menges commented thus: “My personality is not ever to fight for a style. My feeling about all work is, it's not about style, but about what it's trying to say, what it's worth”.
Chris Menges BSC ASC is a master cinematographer, a generous mentor and a person of the highest integrity, which is why he will receive IMAGO’s 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The BSC are delighted that Chris is once again being recognised for his fantastic contribution to the world of Cinematography and film.