Robby Müller: Living the Light (2018) - full transcript

Director of Photography Robby Müller is one of the few people in the world who knows how to play the sun. How to catch its rays like butterflies. How to strike its beams like chords. When Robby moves his camera, the camera turns into a musical instrument. And the whole world dances, radiates, is illuminated. For her extraordinary film essay Director and DoP Claire Pijman had access to Müller's personal archive: thousands of Hi8 video diaries, personal pictures and Polaroids that Müller photographed throughout his career; often with long term collaborators such as Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Lars von Trier. The film intertwines these images with excerpts of his oeuvre, thus creating a fluid and cinematic continuum. In his score for Living the Light Jim Jarmusch gives this wide raging scale of life and art an additional musical voice. With his ground-breaking camerawork, inventive lighting methods, his exceptional sense for the depth of colour, and the freedom of framing, plus his on-going quest for simplicity, he has encouraged generations of DoPs to discover their own eye. Besides being a master of the analogue, Müller became a pioneer of the digital when he shot his first features with Lars von Trier. His work has been compared to that of painters like Vermeer and Hopper, like him, also masters of light. But even when his films are finished, his images keep on moving. The light never fades. Because he has always created space for the human story to speak through the images. To come into the light. Living the Light - Robby Müller is the story of that light.

Do you mind if I sit down?

So that's what it is.

No flight to Germany.

Then we won't have to wait
here any longer.

There's a point-of-view shot

through the binoculars
that you put a dime in

on the top
of the Empire State Building.

And you see a beautiful shot
of the Flatiron Building,

and it's New York,
and it's kind of classic.

The Empire State Building
shows up

in so many of the other shots.

But he kind of drifts down
the building,

and it's very, very beautiful.

A bird crosses into the frame,

and the camera
just drifts off with the bird

and follows the bird
through the sky.

That sense of presence
and being in the moment

that clearly the cameraman had,
whoever he was,

how was he free enough
to capture that moment?

And then I started to notice it
more and more

throughout his work.

Robby was always watching.

Always watching
what the actors were doing.

And how they were doing it.


That is the most important thing.

You have to imagine
a film before you make it.

Robby was the one person

with whom I imagined
how the film would look.

Tried to find out the style
of a movie.

For 10 years, we imagined
every film before we made it.

Don't try to be a nice guy.

I wanna go home.

Let me love you for your money.

I'm confused!

Close the doors, they'll come
in through the windows.

You don't see how it was done.

You don't see the technique.

It is very dense,
like marble or a rock.

It looks easy,

but simplicity takes a lot of work.

Does that one pull you from Rob?

Does that guide you
toward Robby in some way?

In a different way,
I would say.

It's more like sunlight coming
through clouds or something


And that one
is cloudier, like, diffuse.

A diffused light

Robby always loved
and still does.

He loves cloudy days.

The idea was possibly
to get an instrument

that somehow we felt
relates to Robby in some way.


You know, there's a very playful
spirit to Robby,

a very exciting spirit
of finding things, of being...

thinking on your feet, with
Robby, not planning everything.

Which is always,
is a big part of Robby for me.

He's also very focused,
and he can be moody as well.

So, you know, there's one Robby

with many parts to him.

We'll try to describe
some parts of Robby with music.

I'll be thinking of Robby,
feeling Robby somehow

when making some music.

Oh, I don't know,
it's kind of abstract, Claire.

I would ask to borrow this one.

In the script
it was just two lines.

And we both

didn't know that this was
gonna be, these two lines

was gonna
be our initiation to...

the road movie,
we didn't know.

We didn't think so much
of these two lines.

The man was taking a bus,

and the bus was crossing
a railroad line,

and we said, oh, well
we stopped the bus

and brought the camera outdoors
so we could do a drive-by.

So these two lines
became many, many shots,

and we would just do it on
instinct, nothing was scripted.

Even the production manager
was getting angry at us

because we kept doing new things
that he didn't know about.

The bus had to stop
at a roadhouse.

There was a beautiful interior
with a bar

and a fantastic jukebox,

like I had never, ever
seen it in my life.

And oh I said, "Robbie,
let's, come on, come on.

"We have half an hour now,
we can do a shot.

"How our goalkeeper hero
goes to the jukebox

"and listens to a song."

We had discovered for ourselves

that you could make movies
as you travel.

For Kings of the Road we had
a 2.5 meter long stand

welded to the front of the lorry.

Robby sat on it and had to
make lots of sharp turns

and drive through villages.

I did not envy Robby in that position

because I wasn't
controlling the car very well.

But it all went well.

We made a lot of trips with that car.

And I must say

it was quite a feat

for Robby and Wim
to film those journeys.

What attracted me was the kind
of life you have in film.

Bohemian, bohemian life
I liked very much.

Rolf, stop!

Yeah, Rolf stop!

One time, my girls!

One looks at the stats.

The Nuggets in fact
prove their stage

from the field in that corner,

but it's at a measly 35%
to San Antonio's 57.

Ray Rasmussen
in the worst offender,

having made just one
of his seven attempts.

I'm just happy every time I see
him in the image too, you know?

And Robby's life in these
hotel rooms too, you know?

It's a huge part of his life,
as he just said.

You know he used to say,

working on films was just
kind of like running away

to join the circus.

Because you then were on a trip
for the rest of your life,


And these
are the visuals of your...

where you live, you know?

I hope you're right, honey.

If we're following
the wrong car,

we're gonna have to wait
a whole other month.

I'll be eight then.

You'll be what?

I'll be eight then!

What do you think?

Yeah, could be.

It felt like he was looking
without a camera.

Like he was filming what he saw,
without anything in between.

You forgot about the camera.

He used a special type of lens,
a diopter.

With this he could focus
on something close by

and something far away
at the same time.

Everything is sharp,
which makes for a hyper-realistic image.

It really looks like a painting.
In a painting everything is in focus.

This sets Robby apart.

It is a new way
of telling a story with images.

I don't remember with Robby that
we ever looked at another film

in order to decide on a style

for something we were gonna do.

I remember we looked
at a lot of photographs.

We were both completely in love
with Walker Evans

when we prepared
"Kings of the Road."

We also looked
at a lot of paintings.

The Dutch masters for me

were the greatest models
for framing and also for light.

I remember how much
we were both impressed

with Edward Hopper when we
prepared "The American Friend."

And then I would leave it
completely to Robby

to find the light.

And I never interfered

with any light
that Robby suggested to me.

Sometimes he wasn't quite happy,
and I realized,

and then I said,
"Well, why don't you go on?

"And I'll give you a little,

I give you
another half hour or so,

"if you need
another hour, you take it."

To my child

There is nothing I can say

There's too much troubled mind

And there is nothing

I can do

When I talked to Robby
about "American Friend,"

which I think impressed
so many cinematographers,

how he captured this quality
of color and atmosphere.

And I said, you know,
"What did you do?"

He says,

"Do? We waited."

We scouted,
we looked at the time of day

to take pictures,
and he would determine

when the moment was there
to shoot it.

Hi, good morning, Mr. Zimmerman.

I was expecting your call.

What I really liked about Robby

was when we were ready to light,
he said, "Let's make light."

Now it's, "let's make light,"
and to me it was like,

okay, let's make love, you know.

So it was his love
of light and camera

that motivated him.

He did lots of pictures where
it was simply images of light.

You'd look at the image and say,

"That's a rather
innocuous image."

Yes, but look at the light.

Even when there is no rain.

When Robby is operating the camera

you can see
if he likes something or not.

Whether it was good or not.

This means there was sympathy.

More than that,

perhaps some sort of love even.

A silent proof

of affection and love.

Can I have a go?
Will it be in colour?


We're filming Rob for a change.
Should I keep pressing?

What do you mean? No.

- How do I stop filming?
- You press the same button again.

- Now I see only silhouettes again.
- Okay, I'll move over there.

Oh, help!

Why don't you have
another cigarette, Rob.

Golden light.

- I'm not used to being filmed at all.
- Yes, it's high time.

He would film everything.

Every situation.

Very annoying sometimes.

He just always did it.

It was part of him.

Good morning.

I think that's mean.


To film me when I am still in bed.


Happy birthday!

Stop filming!

Neither of us looks our best.

Neither of us looks filmworthy.

Will you come and have breakfast?

And open your presents?
Or do you want us to do it?


It's a beautiful day.

I was always attracted
to stories

that had something
to say about life.

The consequence of that was

try to look for directors

and stories

that really made sense for me,

that really enriched my life,

that got me thinking
about what life was about.

I was hoping to show you
that I was your father.

You showed me I was.

But the biggest thing
I hoped for

can't come true.

I know that now.

You belong together
with your mother.

Robby was just so powerful
in who he is as a human being.

He has to tell the truth,

his lens, his camera,
film was the truth.

How can I get as close
as I can to a truth?

Your hair, it's wet.

Some people pushed hard
for us to shoot a happy ending.

You see, Robby had been through
a separation and divorce.

He knew the truth
of that situation.

He encouraged me
to keep the truthful ending.

This is the message on the mirror,
for my birthday.

That was the year before it,
my ninth birthday.

He was often away.

Sometimes for months.

And sometimes he was home
but never for long, as I remember it.

He always seemed to be working,
as I recall it.

But I was used to it.
that was just the way it was.

He sent me these during his travels.

Some of his doodlings.

I can make out a very vague
self-portrait here in the corner.

His bald head

and his thin hair.

He used to wear his hair down.

It was up on my pinboard for ages,
hence the pin holes.

The largest landslide
ever witnessed by humans.

It sent gas, ash, and debris
into the Washington sky,

and people on the mountain
could hardly see or breathe.

What is this?

This is San Francisco.
- San Francisco?

Sam and Dean.

It's Tuesday, it
must be San Francisco.

No, it's Thursday.
- How are you?

- Hello.
- Pleased to meet you.

Good to see you brought your...

Do you know how to work it?

- Yeah, great.
- Good, oh.

- I know that.
- Okay.

Put it on the bed,
so Robby can make pause.

Da da da!

- Yeah.
- Yeah.


- Perfect.
- Presents.

Check out the goods.

These are old presents
from Christopher.


Just 'cause
I like you guys.

- See, look, look.
- Yes, I see.

Where can I get this, though?

You know, this
is a huge light taker, huh?

- It's a big one.
- Could this...

Yeah yeah yeah,
right, right right.

Come on, this is our day off.

I'm there
with Christopher Porter and Pim

and someone else I don't recall.

But Robby,
when it came to meters,

he even carried an old Weston.

So when he was really
not sure about the spot meter,

I forget what circumstance
brought it up,

but sometimes
he'd whip out an old Weston.

This is from the 1920s or 1930s.

And it needed no batteries.

That was it,
when the battery died,

there was still
one fallback meter.

Robby was more interested
in the light

that was being reflected.

His philosophy simply was

the film only sees
reflected light,

it doesn't see incident light.

We would go all the way
from overexposure

into underexposure, to the point
where it was almost black,

and then we would look
at that exposure range

and judge where
we would lose detail

in the shadow areas

and where we would
lose highlight details, so,

into the whites,

and this is your basic
zone system.

It's used in still photography.

Ansel Adams wrote
a lot about it.

The prime instrument
for reading the light

was a Pentax spot meter.

They gave you
a little digital readout

in EV or exposure value.

And so it was nine and two dots,
or 10 and two dots.

And so the dialogue on set was,

"So what do you think
the exposure, nine plus plus?

"Or nine plus, or nine, or..."

Don't hit me!

The one film
that I did with Robby

that of course
everybody seems to know,

that is "Barfly,"

where Robby had said
at the beginning,

"If it looks forced
or somehow constructed,

"we'll lose the audience.

"This is a film
where I don't want the light

"to make itself known,
to be that omnipresent.

"It should be so natural,

and we need to take
our time with this."

Natural energy, ladies man!

You're right.

When we started "Barfly,"

I had a semi trailer
full of tungsten light.

I had twin 750-amp generators
on there.

We had enough power
to sink a ship.

But this was going to be
a very intimate film,

and very naturally lit.

And so natural light, for
the most part, is soft light.

I mean, you have
some direct sunlight,

but everything else
is ambient soft,

and we had a room
that we were shooting into

that was a lot of windows.

Windows on the left, windows
dead center of the frame.

We saw the ceiling, the floor,
the walls, everything.

All wide lenses;
where do you hide the light?

That's a challenge.

Have you found my panties?

I'd shown Robby
what I was sort of developing.

And he goes, "I think
we can just do the entire film."

And this is where
Robby took a big risk,

'cause how do you maintain
this quality of light

that you establish
in that first shot?

And now you have to carry
it through the entire film.

That is the challenge
of every lighting person,

every cinematographer,

is how do you maintain all this
over 12 hours?

Hey, man.

We were able
to take single tubes

and dress them up
in such a way

that it looked as if light was
hitting the back of this shade

and then spilling
out underneath it.

So you had this glow
around the window,

and by pulling
the curtain aside a little bit

and getting some hard light

to, say, splash
against the window over here,

and this would then bounce off
and fall onto the bed

where the characters were.

And the door!

It took us four hours
to light this,

and all of it was hidden,
you didn't see one lamp.

And every time Barbet
would poke his head in the door,

"What's going on?"

He saw nothing going on.

Finally it was done,
Barbet walks in, he goes--

Nobody likes it.

"What the hell
you do different here, what?

"Just, it's been like this
for four hours.

"What were we waiting for?"

And then I took him over, said,

I pulled this out, I said,
"There's a lamp here.

"There's a lamp here, look it,

And he was in total amazement.

And I think it's, of all
the films that I've ever done,

it's that one scene
that I'm most proud of,

because it could only
have been lit that way

with this technology
that we had just developed.

Okay, one, two, three, go.

Did you see my eye?

It just opened.

Amazing still.

They love bathing in it.

And also in the pond,
in that little bath.

See, they have started to blossom.

- That's a very old hat.
- My own old hat.

It's still light enough.


It's the end of my tape.

Litter being thrown on the ground.

They could use those
little dog doo bags.

It's about the variations
of daily details, you know.

And Robby's incredible
brilliance as a person

is appreciating the details.

There's this incredible shot
in the beginning

I tried to get him
to sort of imitate

in our film "Mystery Train,"
but in the film

he made with Peter Handke,

is it "The Left-Handed Woman"?

And there's a shot of some
plants in the foreground,

some grass,

and then a train goes by,

but you just see the wheels
of the train

and plants go...

Then the train passes,
but it's just a detail.

But Robby saw that to show
the velocity of the train

and something happening
by being static

on a very mundane thing,

just some weeds in
the foreground or whatever;

so beautiful, though.

His entire working life is about

physically moving
from one place to another,

and then moving a camera,

and a camera describing motion
or travel or movement.

And I was left
to wander the Earth alone.

I am nobody.

I don't care
if you were married 16 times

I still love you

Yo hoy yo hoy

Hey ho ho, yeah

When we were shooting
"Dead Man,"

and it was
so difficult physically,

because there were locations

where we'd literally have
to carry, like a safari,

carry our equipment down
steep cliffs.

And Robby said something like,

"in the future
they'll just do all this

and you won't even have
to go there,

"but what's the point of that?

And then
what will you have lived?"

And he said,
"What we're doing is,

"we're going down the mountain

"to extract
a big piece of marble together,

"and we're going to select it
and take it out of here.

"And then later, the editing,

it's gonna be carved
into the film,

"but we have to now
find this piece and remove it."

You know,
it was like reducing it to that.

Of course there was so much
more delicacy in what he did

than just that.

William Blake is a legend now

I'm always looking forward
to find

a script that goes
my heart to.

When I, by reading
the first pages, to say yes.

And something very seldom,
of course.

And I'm hoping all the time.

Jim, I trust him so much

that I would go
into the shooting

even without knowing
the script.

What the hell are you doin'?

I make a window.

The way he lights a scene

is relative to the kind
of mood of that scene.

The intention of the scene.

Like, he would take a lamp
from near the bed

and put that one on the floor

and move another one higher,
but put some scarf over it.

Or, just total Robby thing,
he'd like relight the rooms.


So here I am.
Welcome home, Mum.

I'm so happy you're feeling better.

It will take a while
before you've completely recovered.

But judging by the sound of your voice
and reading your letters,

you're definitely feeling better,
thank God.

As you can see,
it can get pretty rainy out here.

It's the weekend,

Saturday, I don't know the exact date.

There's only little time
left on this tape,

so I'm not sure
how long I can continue chatting.

New York with the kids is not
on this tape, because I wasn't there.

What I'm currently working on

is not very satisfying to me,
the director is a bit weak.

Which is understandable,

he just made the jump from
a very small picture to a big one.

The people are quite friendly.

If you think the music's too loud,

you should

turn the balance knob to the left.

That's where the stereo is.

But I will turn it down anyway.

It's called Reflections in the Water,
by Debussy. Hang on.


What else?


today's Saturday, I went for a swim.

In the lake.

What's it called, Lake Michigan.

And tonight I'll probably
go out to dinner with Christopher.

And maybe some people from production.
I don't know.

My days are quite lazy,
and I'm reading every now and then.

Here's the newspaper.

Saturday, 10 August.

I don't have much more to say.

I'll probably stroll around town

with that large camera I have,

and photograph some skyscrapers.

Maybe go to the beach. We'll see.

56, joining the diamond now.

They'll split up like...

God bless the USA.

"Honeysuckle Rose,"
I believe,

was the first film
that he did in America.

And he said,

"Yeah, I remember coming out
on the set the very first day,

"and it was a sunrise shot."

And this is where he was
first introduced, sort of,

to the big Hollywood production.

They drove out on location

and they started
passing all these trucks,

all these big semis
full of gear.

And he was like, okay,
this is a sunrise shot, I mean.

Back home, he'd simply go out
with a camera and an actor,

and the sun would rise
and, done.

No, but this was a production.

They were up at three
o'clock in the morning.

He says, "We gotta
get up there early."

the sun doesn't rise until...

Well, okay, whatever,
we'll be here.

And he gets there, and
there's a line of brute arcs,

carbon arc brutes.

All these electricians, all
this cable, generators galore.

And Robby comes out,
"Who asked for all this?"

Oh, you need this, this is...

You can have the sunrise,
you need to fill it.

"But I didn't ask for this,

"I don't need this."

So, set up and there
to do the take.

"I want the lights off,"
and we're filming.

And he does the shot,

and the whole electrical
team's going,

"This guy's out of his mind,
this guy's nuts.

"This is gonna look like crap."

It was a silhouette shot,
it was just that light,

sun rising, character
walks to the camera.

The net result was
it was a great-looking shot.

The reason the director
hired him,

because he had this unique
way of seeing the world.

This was not a Hollywood eye.

And the electricians,
they wanted to get him fired.

And they made it
very challenging for him

on that first show.

But again, because he came from

a very practical
way of doing things,

and your eye,

looking at someone coming at you
in a rising sun,

they're gonna look silhouetted,
not filled.

But Hollywood versus Europe.

You have to draw now, let's see.

You have to draw.
- Yes, yes, yes.

Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Most of the movies that Robby has shot

are relatively small movies.

Without the gigantic
Hollywood machine behind him.

Without half an army of light
technicians jumping around.

Hi, will you came and have
a look at this thing or?

He knows how to do it,

but of course in your
mind it's a different thing.

The thing you have
with your director isn't there.

Oh, back wherever

Oh it's a light,
they will travel in

So today

Let's travel through there

Let's follow the song

And ah

The film
is very much about the future

of visual culture
as we envisioned it in 1990.

By now, it's no longer a film
that takes place in the future,

but now it's a film
that takes place in the past.

But still,
we try to envision a future,

and I think you see
the visionary power

that Robby had

in this film,
"Till the End of the World."

I'm sorry, Claire.

Actually, the first day of
shooting was Robby's birthday.

And Robby, he worked
with 10 different crews

in 10 countries.

Apart from Pim,
who was his focus puller,

it was so hard for Robby
to each time start from scratch

and tell these people how
he wanted this film to look.

Like when we arrived
in Australia, we were dead.

And there they were,
40 new people

to start working with us
the next day.


- What happened?
- Where is Nemo?

Ah, he!

Who's noodle, ah.

Just don't
drive over Bleecker Street.

There was a butterfly right there.

- Ciao, Rüdiger.
- Ciao.

Through all this exhaustion,

Robby had managed to have
his imprint on every shot.

If you see the film,

you'll realize there's
an incredible consistency

in the image style,

from the first to the last shot.

Robby and I had worked
so hard on this film

and had suffered so much.

And in a way our friendship

had also suffered a lot
in this film

because we had shot
for a whole year.

And went to four continents
and to 10 countries,

and Robby was, at the end,

really completely exhausted,
already in between.

But we went so much
to all of our limits

that it was a burden
on our friendship.

And it took us
years to overcome it

and to become the friends again
that we were before this movie.

Back from the Bungle Bungles.

I just got back,
and there's my buddy on the balcony.

It's just the two of us at home.


Hello, Robby Muller's machine.

This is Jim Jarmusch calling.

Hello, now it is Friday.

I think you are gone away.

I'll try you again
over the weekend.

Okay, hoping
to talk to you soon, okay, bye.

Robby Muller,
this is David Lynch calling

from Los Angeles,

and I understand that you liked
the script "Ronnie Rocket"

and that my friend Monty
had sent it to you.

And I'm sorry to tell you,

that I'm going to use another
cinematographer for the film.

But at the same time,
I wanna tell you, you know,

that I remain a giant fan
of your work,

and I'm sure
we will work together one day.

I'm just calling to apologize

for them getting you
all worked up about this.

And hope you're doing fine

and let's stay in touch, and
one of these days work together.

Thanks Robby, bye.

To eat well is to live well

I recall quite well,

he took me aside at some point.

He said:
"I have something to tell you."

And he showed me a picture of Andrea.

I remember exactly what picture it was,
she's wearing a dress with flower print.

That was his new love.

I remember at some point

he wasn't happy anymore in Munich.

So it was definitely a good thing

that he'd fallen in love again

and was going to start over.

What I liked especially was that
he was going to come back to Amsterdam.

And the silhouette?
Ah, that's beautiful!

Oh, Robby!

If I flash now, will it overexpose?

No, just be careful you don't get
any reflection in the window.

Have a look.

There are the first Polaroids.
I haven't seen those yet.

See up there? In that window?

- Me?
- Yes.

You were removing the curtain rings.

Oh, that's right.

After "Until the End of the World"
he felt the need

to start doing
something entirely different.

That's when he met Lars von Trier.

And the new challenge for him
was to light the set 360 degrees.

He would just go through the set
with his camera 360 degrees,

handheld camera.

That was ideal for him.

I recall he had a lot of fun

throwing that camera around.

With Robby it was never
about the beautiful shots.

It was about a feeling.

Come on, it's my wedding.

I think I was spoiled by Robby

in that sense, that he didn't,
you know,

put technique on top
of everything.

Will you please
be upstanding for the bride?

We agreed only
to be like a documentary film,

that you had to film
what you saw.

And it was important

that the operator was listening
to the dialogue, you know.

We did not show the operator
the scene before it was shot.

So he didn't know
what would happen.

And we say if you get a lamp

or a mic or whatever,
it doesn't matter.

Just go on

and we'll cut that out
that we can't use.

Can we see the mic
in the picture, please?

Thank you.

And if you want films to be

more one-to-one,

you know, not so constructed,

then you point,

and especially if you change

the way the actors are moving

in between, so the operator
doesn't have a chance then.

He will always point,
because then he will get

what is important
in the picture.

And not grand pictures.

For him it was also important

to make the film and to create,
of course, an atmosphere

in the film,

which, in both cases
I thought was masterly done, so.

Cut, stop, stop, please.

This is Selma's entrance, okay?


I don't mind low-quality images.

For a while now, we have experienced
a degeneration of the image.

And I like the fact that
images are now treated differently.

Because you will start to see
other essences of creating images.

The upside being

that you won't lose
momentum while you're working.

That you are focused.

Video helps you with that,

because it requires less preparation
than a normal camera.

With tripods stands and lights
before and behind the camera.

And having to light
every close-up separately,

because the person
has to look beautiful.

I mean, I did not expect to give
Catherine Deneuve such sloppy lighting,

but this way of telling a story doesn't
need beautiful images in that sense.

Images don't have to be perfect.

I don't need to see
the hairs in someone's beard.

You can throw off all that burden
and watch from a distance.

Like a painting.
You don't have to see every detail.

Just the big picture.

He was just very adaptable,
and I think he liked the idea

that we went a little
more hippie.




Look up.

We're moving on.

Me too!

That's Mummy's hollyhock.

Will you cut this off too?

No, that stays.

- It will become greener and greener.
- Don't you have to put it in, like this?

Yes, when these are longer.

Hey, this plant!

Poor little plant.


What are you doing?

I'm filming this.

Were you expecting this?

I didn't know what to expect.

I used to make all kinds
of animations with Robby.

But what I remember specifically
are the stop-motions.

What I found magical was the fact

that you could not see the
hands that move everything.

Yes, Robby has a brain disease,
white matter alterations.

Over time, there were some
blood clots in his brain

and several parts

of his brain were damaged.

So some areas lost their functions.

He is still able to observe everything,

and capable of dealing with emotions.

That's all still functioning.

It was in 1968.

You were assistant to the
legendary Gérard Vandenberg.

I was a film student in Munich.

I took that crappy job

as a bit player.

Three days of shooting.

But the most exciting part wasn't
the set, but the camera assistant.

And the camera assistant, Robby Müller,

adjusted the focus with his right hand.

Great, because the film I saw
afterwards was in full focus.

But his left hand was
in his trouser pocket

rolling a cigarette.

Which he also lit with one hand!

That's when I knew:
with that guy the sky is the limit.

And after ten years

I could not imagine filming without you.

Master of light.

A Dutch master.

I'm touched...

You're the only one there with a halo.

Can't you see it?