The flinty, straight-talking Haskell Wexler, one of the greatest and most influential cinematographers of the 20th Century, has left the earth at age 93. Hats off, head bowed. Wexler’s career lasted about 55 years, beginning with the 1960 documentary The Savage Eye to John Sayles‘ Silver City in’04. He enjoyed a peak period of about 15 years (’63 to ’78) when he shot Eliza Kazan‘s America, America (’63), Franklin Schaffner‘s The Best Man, Mike Nichols‘ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Norman Jewison‘s In the Heat of the Night and The Thomas Crown Affair. After directing the respected Medium Cool (’69) Wexler served as “visual consultant” on George Lucas‘s American Graffiti and then pushed on with Milos Forman‘s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (which he was fired off after shooting about 87% over some muddled FBI-related concern), Hal Ashby‘s Bound for Glory and Coming Home. Wexler also completed the work of dp Nestor Alemendros on Terrence Malick‘s Days of Heaven. I interviewed Wexler during Sundance ’06 about his documentary Who Needs Sleep?, and it was during that discussion that he woke me to the fact that it’s pointless to work more than 14 hours a day, that your focus after that point isn’t worth anything. Haskell was a tough old bird, a real Type-A personality.