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logancenter@uchicago.edu | 773-702-ARTS
logancenter@uchicago.edu | 773-702-ARTS

Haskell Wexler

Haskell Wexler

Haskell Wexler, A.S.C. is considered to be one of the most important cinematographers working in the film industry today.  He has photographed a wide range of films, earning five Academy Award nominations and two Oscars for Best Cinematography. His nominations came for his work on his first feature documentary, THE LIVING CITY; a short film T FOR TUMBLEWEED; Milos Forman's ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST; John Sayles' MATEWAN and Touchstone Pictures’ BLAZE. He took home statuettes for his work on Mike Nichols' WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF and Hal Ashby's BOUND FOR GLORY. Other films shot for Ashby include COMING HOME, SECOND-HAND HEART and LOOKIN' TO GET OUT.


Wexler’s other credits include three films for Norman Jewison: IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR and OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY; George Lucas' AMERICAN GRAFFITI; Dennis Hopper's controversial hit COLORS and Touchstone Pictures' hit comedy, THREE FUGITIVES; THE BABE, a Universal Picture; the Rolling Stones World Tour AT THE MAX, a photographic breakthrough; a second John Sayles film, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH and a film directed by Michael Moore, CANADIAN BACON; an IMAX film, IMAX:MEXICO, and IMAX: HAIL COLUMBIA; MGM/The Zanuck Co. film MULHOLLAND FALLS; RICH MAN’S WIFE, and a third John Sayles film, LIMBO; HBO 61* directed by Billy Crystal which received several Emmy nominations including Outstanding Cinematography; a fourth John Sayles film, SILVER CITY. Another outstanding Wexler credit is A SENSE OF WONDER, Director Christopher Monger. This film is an intimate and poignant reflection of the life of Rachel Carson, pioneering environmentalist. Recently (2009) the documentary FROM WHARF RATS TO LORDS OF THE DOCKS was shown on PBS.


As a director, Wexler crafted two features, MEDIUM COOL, a groundbreaking film shot during the Democratic convention in Chicago, and LATINO, in Nicaragua, which received a special honor at Cannes Film Festival.  He has directed over fifty documentaries, rock videos and award-winning commercials, including THE BUS, BUS II and BUS RIDERS UNION; INTRODUCTION TO THE ENEMY, shot in Vietnam with Jane Fonda; INTERVIEW WITH MY LAI VETERANS, which also won an Academy Award; NO NUKES with Barbara Kopple; BASTARDS OF THE PARTY, HBO; and TARGET NICARAGUA: INSIDE A SECRET WAR. He made the documentary WHO NEEDS SLEEP?, a film about sleep deprivation and long hours in the motion picture business, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Wexler was elected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to the Board of Governors, Cinematographers Branch.  Wexler has also received many honors, i.e., The American Society of Cinematographers' Lifetime Achievement Award, Belfast Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, Liberty Hill Foundation Upton Sinclair Award, Poland’s Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award, Eastman Kodak Outstanding Photographic Achievement for Blaze and Matewan, UCLA 2009 Prestige “Medal” Award, to name a few.  He has received Honorary Doctorates from Columbia College, American Film Institute, California Institute of the Arts and Brooks Institute of Photography Honorary Master of Science.

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