DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Living the Light – Robby Müller

Living the Light – Robby Müller

Robby Müller (1940–2018) was a luminary, but not in the way this term is commonly used. He could easily have played one of the wise and taciturn Indians in Jim Jarmusch’s Acid Western “Dead Man”. But that was impossible because he was the DOP of this film, for which he conjured his special, firm and almost painterly, but also transparent and shimmering light onto the screen, as he did for around 70 other masterpieces of international auteur cinema.

Over decades the cinematographer kept a video diary which the filmmaker Claire Pijman already worked with for the great exhibition “Master of Light” at the Amsterdam EYE Film Museum and which she now uses as the central pool of images for her own film, “Living the Light”. Fellow cinematographer Agnès Godard says about a sequence between Dennis Hopper and Nicholas Ray from Wim Wenders’ “The American Friend” that mastership for her is achieved only when the grandeur of the cinematography makes itself vanish from a scene because it becomes its natural component. Strange that one always feels that one can almost hear Robby Müller’s images. In “Living the Light”, this impression is underlined by delicately improvised soundscapes by Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan.

Ralph Eue

Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Original Title: Living the Light – Robby Müller
Country: Netherlands, Germany
Year: 2018
Language: Dutch, English, French, German
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 87 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour and B&W
Director: Claire Pijman
Producer: Carolijn Borgdorff, Alexander Wadouh, Sven Sauër
Cinematographer: Claire Pijman
Editor: Katharina Wartena
Music: SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan)
Script: Claire Pijman

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.