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Dietrich Lohmann; Widely Praised Cinematographer

November 20, 1997|MYRNA OLIVER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dietrich Lohmann, highly respected German cinematographer whose most recent release was Dreamworks' initial feature film "The Peacemaker," has died. He was 54.

Lohmann died Nov. 13 of leukemia at City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte.

He had been in the final stages of filming "Deep Impact," also for the new Dreamworks studio.

Well before moving to the United States, Lohmann was internationally known for about 110 German films and his work with the prolific director Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Lohmann switched to Hollywood in the late 1980s after his filming of the European sequences for the television miniseries "War and Remembrance" won him the American Society of Cinematographers Award and an Emmy nomination.

Among his other films were "The Color of Night," "The Innocent," "Snakes and Ladders," "A Couch in New York," "La Machine," "Knight Moves" and "In the Lake of the Woods."

Lohmann's cinematography won critical praise around the world.

Reviewing "The Innocent" in 1995, Times film reviewer Kevin Thomas wrote: "The master German cinematographer Dietrich Lohmann gives the film a wonderfully dark, shadowy look making splendid use of seedy locales in the former East Berlin."

Born in Berlin, Lohmann became interested in filmmaking after high school when he got a job working for a small production company. He enrolled in the Berlin Film School where his mentors included Alexander Kluge, Werner Herzog and Volker Schlondorff.

In 1969, Lohmann shot his first three films, all for Fassbinder: "Gods of the Plague," "Katzelmacher" and "Love Is Colder Than Death."

Lohmann is survived by his wife of 22 years, Dr. Babette Lohmann-Raitmayr, and a daughter, Dr. Katja Lohmann, who practices in Germany.

The family has requested that any memorial contributions be made to the City of Hope Medical Center.

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