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Jim Jarmusch recorded a special video message for the International Film Festival Rotterdam ahead of its screening Tuesday night of Living the Light – Robby Müller, Claire Pijman’s intimate documentary about the late Dutch cinematographer.
“Enjoy this excellent film that lets you enter into the remarkable world of Robby Müller,” Jarmusch said, adding that he and Carter Logan, who together form the rock band Sqürl, were “very proud” to have created the score to the film, to be released under the title Some Music for Robby Müller.
Across an extensive career spanning scores of films, Müller, who died in 2018 at the age of 78, shot four of Jarmusch’s early titles, including Down by Law (1986), Mystery Train (1989), Dead Man (1995) and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), alongside Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves (1996) and Dancer in the Dark (2000) and William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. (1985).
But Müller was best known for his long association with Wim Wenders, having served as cinematographer on his first feature, 1970’s Summer in the City, and going on to shoot many more films together, such as Alice in the Cities (1974), Kings of the Road (1976), The American Friend (1977) and Paris, Texas (1984).
In Living the Light, Pijman utilizes Müller’s own archive — including home videos, Polaroids and photographs, and also a message David Lynch left on his answering machine — to paint a portrait of the acclaimed filmmaker, who in 2013 was honored by the American Society of Cinematographers.
“The film beautifully celebrates Robby’s vision and the details of the world that were important to him,” added Jarmusch.
On Monday night in Rotterdam, the festival presented its inaugural Robby Müller award to Mexican cinematographer and writer Diego Garcia (Cemetery of Splendour, Neon Bull). Organizers said the award is designed for a director of photography, filmmaker or visual artist who, in the spirit of the Müller, “has created an authentic, credible and emotionally striking visual language throughout their oeuvre.”