Lensers get their day in the Riviera sun


James Chressanthis, the director and producer of "No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos," mfinds it moving that his tribute to famed cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond will premiere today as part of the Cannes Classics sidebar.

"Laszlo shot 'Easy Rider,' an ultra-low-budget counterculture film that was a favorite with critics and fans at Cannes in 1969," Chressanthis said. "That was the film which finally opened doors for Laszlo in Hollywood."

With the support of the pair, Chressanthis spent two years documenting their story and friendship. Kovacs and Zsigmond were born and raised in small towns in Hungary during the Nazi occupation and subsequent communist regime. They arrived in the U.S. as political refugees in 1957.

"No Subtitles Necessary" is not narrated. Instead, it is told through excerpts from interviews with the pair as well as with Peter Bogdanovich, Richard Donner, Dennis Hopper, Bob Rafelson, Barbra Streisand, John Williams, Peter Fonda, Jon Voight, Owen Roizman and Haskell Wexler. (partialdiff)