Hol­ly­wood mourns a ‘mas­ter’ lens­man, Les­nie, who died 59

The China Post - - ARTS -

Direc­tor Peter Jack­son and Hol­ly­wood star Rus­sell Crowe led trib­utes Wed­nes­day for Os­car­win­ning Aus­tralian cine­matog­ra­pher An­drew Les­nie, who died sud­denly aged 59.

Les­nie, who passed away Mon­day af­ter a sus­pected heart attack, worked with Jack­son on eight films, in­clud­ing the epic Tolkien trilo­gies “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hob­bit.”

The New Zealand direc­tor said the death of his long-time col­lab­o­ra­tor was like los­ing a brother.

“Be­ing an only child, I grew up won­der­ing what it would be like to have a brother,” he wrote in a Face­book post. “It wasn’t un­til to­day, in try­ing to deal with the ter­ri­ble news of An­drew’s pass­ing, that I came to re­al­ize how much he had be­come that per­son for me.”

Les­nie won the best cine­matog­ra­pher Academy Award in 2002 for his work on Jack­son’s first Tolkien movie “The Lord of the Rings: The Fel­low­ship of the Ring.”

His other cred­its in­clude “Babe” (1995), “The Lovely Bones” (2009) and “The Wa­ter Diviner” (2014), Crowe’s di­rec­to­rial de­but.

“Dev­as­tat­ing news from home. The mas­ter of the light, ge­nius An­drew Les­nie has passed on,” Crowe tweeted.

Fel­low Aus­tralian Hugh Jackman added: “We lost one of the greats in film, An­drew Les­nie. Thoughts and prayers to his fam­ily.”

James Franco, who worked with Les­nie on 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” also sent his best wishes to his fam­ily, tweet­ing: “Great cine­matog­ra­pher and a great guy.”

“Billy El­liot” star Jamie Bell, also part of the “King Kong” cast, added that the Aus­tralian was “a treat to work with” and “I am blown away by all he achieved.”

It was Jack­son’s Tolkien films for which Les­nie will be best re­mem­bered, and stars of the movies paid trib­ute to him on so­cial me­dia.

“He was a mas­ter of the new tech­nolo­gies, which cli­maxed with the 3D Hob­bit movies,” Gan­dalf ac­tor Ian McKellen said.

“But his artistry was as per­sonal and in­spired as a painter in oils, mag­i­cally spread­ing it over land­scapes wild and do­mes­tic and across the ac­tors’ faces too.”

Eli­jah Wood, who played Frodo Bag­gins, said Les­nie was “taken too soon.”

“My heart goes out to your fam­ily and our shared ex­tended fam­ily. Thank you for your hu­mour and love.”

AP

In this March 24, 2002 file photo, An­drew Les­nie poses with his Os­car tro­phy for cin­e­matog­ra­phy for the film “Lord of the Rings: The Fel­low­ship of the Rings” dur­ing the 74th an­nual Academy Awards in Los An­ge­les.

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