Darius Khondji A.S.C.
(, born 21 October 1955 in Tehran
) is an Iranian-French cinematographer
. He has worked with such well-known directors as Jean-Pierre Jeunet
, David Fincher
, Bernardo Bertolucci
, Alan Parker
, Roman Polanski
, Sydney Pollack
, Woody Allen
, and Wong Kar-wai
He was born to an Iranian
father and a French
mother. At an early age, his family relocated in France
. He became interested in film early on and made Super-8
films in his teens. Later in life, he moved to the United States
to study at UCLA
and then majored in film from New York University
and the International Center for Photography. During this period two teachers influenced his decision to become a cinematographer: Jonas Mekas
and Haig Manoogian (Martin Scorsese
's film teacher). He realized that "all I wanted to do was shoot the other students' films. I was concerned with the power of the image and much less with story." Khondji returned to France in 1981 and worked as an assistant for cinematographers like Bruno Nuytten, Martin Schafer and Pascal Marti. He also began shooting commercials and music videos.
His second feature film was Le tresor des Iles Chiennes
(1991), a low budget, black and white, post-atomic adventure film. His work on this movie was significant enough to warrant the Cahiers du cinéma
to publish one of its rare interviews with a cinematographer. It was on this film that he demonstrated an affinity for......