By Vincent Dowd BBC
For more than 40 years Douglas Slocombe, who turns 101 this week, was one of British cinema’s most acclaimed cinematographers. But in 1939 his efforts to film the German invasion of Poland forced him to make a dramatic escape.
Recently a widower, Douglas Slocombe now lives by the Thames in London with his daughter. His near-blindness means he no longer sees a river which long ago featured in black-and-white classics he shot, such as Hue and Cry and The Man in the White Suit.
The list of films he worked on after the Ealing years is remarkable – from The Italian Job to Rollerball, to Raiders of the Lost Ark and its two sequels in the 1980s.
But at the age of 27, Slocombe was in Poland with a movie camera when the Germans arrived.
« I had fallen in love with photography and was making a living doing photographic features for publications such as Picture Post, Paris Match and Life magazine, » he says. « But in 1939 I saw a huge headline which I think was in the Sunday Express. It said: ‘Danzig – Danger Point of Europe.’ I packed up my Leica, got on a train and went. »…. [lire la suite]