The great Harris Savides is dead & gone. For me, Savides’ cinematography was as breathtaking and cutting-edge as it got. His mostly-digital work on David Fincher‘s Zodiac is probably his greatest achievement. Right after that I would put Ridley Scott‘s American Gangster and Sofia Coppola‘s Somewhere in the #2 and #3 slots, followed by his 1.33 lensings of Gus Van Sant‘s Elephant and Last Days (which hopefully gave indigestion to Bob Furmanek and all the other 1.85ers).

And then Fincher’s The Game, which can be freshly appreciated on a Criterion Bluray. And then, in my opinion, comes his work on Noah Baumbach‘s Greenberg and Margot at the Wedding. And then James Gray‘s The Yards. Savides’ last film, I gather, was Sofia Coppola‘s The Bling Ring.

Savides, 55, lived in Manhattan with his wife Medine and daughter Sophie. Hugs and condolences to family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and fans.

Most of the industry people I wrote this morning about the possible cause (“What the hell happened?”) didn’t answer, although a director friend says “he had a long-term ailment.”
It’s a too-soon deal any way you slice it. Who dies at this relatively young age? If you’re a well-paid film industry guy with ample medical insurance and the right attitude about diet and exercise…it doesn’t matter. Anyone who lasts into their 70s or 80s or ’90s does so, to a certain extent, out of genetic good fortune.