Robby Müller, a Dutch cinematographer best known for his collaborations with the film directors Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Lars von Trier, is famed for his contribution to both mainstream US productions and independent film.
Müller, who died in July of this year at the age of 78, left behind a legacy Wenders’ first feature film Summer in the City dated in 1970, before working together on iconic films such as 1984’s Paris, Texas, The American Friend (1977) and more.
Having suffered from vascular dementia for several years prior to his death, his innovative style and inspired use of light left him to be described as having “a permanent influence on the film language overall,” by the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers.
Such is the impact of his influence, Müller became the subject of journalist Claire Pijman prior to his death. Pijman had been working on the documentary Living the Light – Robby Muller and finished shortly before he passed away. The film offers an unparalleled insight into Muller’s life, his view of art and the opinions of those closes to him.
It is well known that Müller would often take Polaroids during moments in between his work on set and, as such, they tend to document his downtime. Subjects such as hotel rooms, landscapes and more, Müller stuck true to his desire to study the light in almost the situations he found himself in. In 1974 the first fully automatic instant camera was released by Polaroid, the SX-70. It was this camera that became crucial to the creating of film Wenders’ film Alice in the Cities. Due the results of his work, Müller continued to take Polaroid pictures ever since that moment.
Prior to his passing, a small-format, two-volume set of books were published in honour of his work. one book is themed Exterior, the other is themed Interior and were reprinted in 2018 along with a booklet, Living The Light: A Visual Essay which was created by Müller himself.