“I was born into a family already involved in photography. My aunt Edith had studied photography at the Bauhaus and my father studied in Vienna; they were both socially very committed people and had to flee the rising tide of fascism in Europe before the war. I was given a simple camera when I was five years old and soon I was learning how to develop and print pictures myself. I got my first job as a cinematographer through my photographs , when I was twenty one and I was given my first movie when I was twenty two, also through a director seeing my photographs. Now, fifty movies later I am preparing my first book of photographs. I have just completed the shooting of a Hollywood movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Will Smith, but, of course, in recent years I have been working with David Cronenberg, a collaboration which I have found very rewarding.
“I would, despite my visual training, never go to see a film for the cinematography. The script, the narrative, the characters and ideas, the style of the directing and the quality of the acting, are the most important things in a movie. Cinematography can improve a film quite considerably and contribute to its style but it can never rescue a bad film!”
As cinematographer, Peter Suschitzky has collaborated with important film directors such as John Boorman (Leo the Last, 1970, Where the Heart Is, 1990), Ken Russell (Lisztomania, 1975, and Valentino, 1975) or Tim Burton (Mars Attacks!, 1996). Since 1987 he has worked on ten films with David Cronenberg: Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), M. Butterfly (1993), Crash (1996), eXistenZ (1999), Spider (2002), A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007), A Dangerous Method (2011) and Cosmopolis (2012). Peter has also managed to work with other directors in between the Cronenberg movies and has just finished shooting After Earth, starring Will and Jaden Smith, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
His filmography also includes titles as The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Krull (1983), Falling in Love (1984), Public Eye (1992) or Red Planet (2000).