Peter Suschitzky
Peter Suschitzky at Louis Lumière's ciné-club
in January 2018
Born (1941-07-25) 25 July 1941 (age 82)
London, England, UK
Years active1974–present
OrganizationAmerican Society of Cinematographers
SpouseIlona Suschitzky
ParentWolfgang Suschitzky

Peter Suschitzky, A.S.C. (born 25 July 1941) is a British cinematographer and photographer.[1] Among his most known works as director of photography are The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Empire Strikes Back, and Mars Attacks! and the later films of David Cronenberg. Suschitzky succeeded Mark Irwin as Cronenberg's regular cinematographer when Irwin left during the pre-production of Dead Ringers (1988), and has been the cinematographer for all of Cronenberg's films since, with the exception of Crimes of the Future (2022).[2] He has also collaborated with directors John Boorman, Ken Russell, Bernard Rose, and Tim Burton.

Suschitzky has been the recipient of four Genie Awards for Best Achievement in Cinematography, and a David di Donatello Award for Best Cinematography. He is featured in the book Conversations with Cinematographers, published by Scarecrow Press. He is married to Ilona Suschitzky.

In 2015 he was selected to be a member of the jury for the Critics' Week section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[3]

Life and career

Suschitzky was born in London, England,[4] the son of BAFTA Award-nominated cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky.[5][6] His father was an Austrian of Jewish descent.[7] Although music was his passion, he chose to pursue a career in cinematography while studying at Institut des hautes études cinématographiques in Paris, France. He became a clapper boy at age 19 and a camera operator at age 22.[8]

Among his first films as DP was It Happened Here, a mockumentary-style World War II film about life in the United Kingdom, following a hypothetical Axis victory in World War II. The film was shot on handheld, 16mm film in order to give it a gritty, realistic look inspired by wartime newsreels. Due to the film's independent nature and unusual subject matter, its production lasted a total of eight years.

In 1975, Suschitzky shot The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a comedy musical film that, while initially unsuccessful, has since become a massive cult film, with regular midnight screenings[9] attended by dedicated, cosplaying fans.[10] He shot the 1977 biopic Valentino for director Ken Russell, for which he received a nomination for a BAFTA Film Award for Best Cinematography.[11] Three years later, he would lens the second entry in the long-running Star Wars film series, The Empire Strikes Back, considered to be the best in the series.[12]

Suschitzky replaced Mark Irwin as director David Cronenberg's regular director of photography, beginning with the 1988 film Dead Ringers, for which he won a Genie Award for Best Cinematography. He would go on to win three more Genies in his collaborations with Cronenberg on the films Naked Lunch, Crash, and Eastern Promises.


Short films

Year Title Director Notes
1964 The Meeting Mamoun Hassan
1965 Mister Lewis Malcolm Craddock
1966 Road to Saint Tropez Michael Sarne
The Beach Malcolm Craddock
2017 ERDEM x H&M: The Secret Life of Flowers Baz Luhrmann Advertising campaign film
2020 Starling - Off the Ground Elliot Dear

Documentary shorts

Year Title Director
1964 Trinidad and Tobago Geoffrey Jones
1965 Surface to Surface Victor Menzies

Feature films

Year Title Director Notes
1964 It Happened Here Kevin Brownlow
Andrew Mollo
With Kevin Brownlow
1966 The Christmas Tree Jim Clark
1967 Privilege Peter Watkins
Charlie Bubbles Albert Finney
1968 A Midsummer Night's Dream Peter Hall
1969 Lock Up Your Daughters! Peter Coe
Gladiators Peter Watkins
A Touch of Love Waris Hussein
1970 Figures in a Landscape Joseph Losey With Henri Alekan and Guy Tabary
Leo the Last John Boorman
1971 Melody aka SWALK Waris Hussein
1972 Henry VIII and his Six Wives
The Pied Piper Jacques Demy
1973 That'll Be the Day Claude Whatham
1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show Jim Sharman
Lisztomania Ken Russell
1977 Valentino
1980 The Empire Strikes Back Irvin Kershner
1983 Krull Peter Yates
1984 Falling in Love Ulu Grosbard
1988 In Extremis Olivier Lorsac
Dead Ringers David Cronenberg 1st collaboration with Cronenberg
1990 Where the Heart Is John Boorman
1991 Un homme et deux femmes Valérie Stroh
Naked Lunch David Cronenberg
1992 The Public Eye Howard Franklin
1993 The Vanishing George Sluizer
M. Butterfly David Croenenberg
1994 Immortal Beloved Bernard Rose
1996 Mars Attacks! Tim Burton
Crash David Cronenberg
1998 The Man in the Iron Mask Randall Wallace
1999 eXistenZ David Cronenberg
2000 Red Planet Antony Hoffman
2002 Spider David Cronenberg
2005 A History of Violence
Shopgirl Anand Tucker
2006 The Stone Council Guillaume Nicloux
2007 Eastern Promises David Cronenberg
2011 A Dangerous Method
2012 Cosmopolis
2013 After Earth M. Night Shyamalan
2014 Maps to the Stars David Cronenberg
2015 Tale of Tales Matteo Garrone


TV movies

Year Title Director Notes
1966 The War Game Peter Watkins Uncredited
Francis Bacon Fragments of a Portrait Michael Gill Documentary film
1975 All Creatures Great and Small Claude Whatham

TV series

Year Title Director Notes
1961 Mächte des Glaubens Peter von Zahn Episode "Das Judentum"
1993 Fallen Angels Tom Hanks
Tom Cruise
Episodes "I'll Be Waiting" and "The Frightening Frammis"

Awards and nominations

BAFTA Awards

Year Title Category Result
1977 Valentino Best Cinematography Nominated

Canadian Screen Awards

Year Title Category Result
1988 Dead Ringers Best Cinematography Won
1991 Naked Lunch Won
2006 Crash Won
2007 Eastern Promises Won

Accademia del Cinema Italiano

Year Title Category Result
2015 Tale of Tales Best Cinematography Won


  1. ^ "PETER SUSCHITZKY". Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  2. ^ Burgess, Steve, (30 November 1999). "David Cronenberg".((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Ronit Elkabetz, President of the 2015 Critics' Week Jury". Semaine de la Critique de Cannes. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Peter Suschitzky". Peter Suschitzky. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Peter Suschitzky, ASC".
  6. ^ "Peter Suschitzky Biography (1941?-)".
  7. ^ "Moving to Holland and working as a photographer".
  8. ^ "PETER SUSCHITZKY". Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Rocky Horror Picture Show - Blue Mouse Theatre". Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  10. ^ "TRHPS Official Fan Site: Participation". Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  11. ^ Aftab, Kaleem. "DP Peter Suschitzky on The Empire Strikes Back, Collaborating with David Cronenberg and the New Wave's "Boring Light" | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  12. ^ "From a Certain Point of View: Is The Empire Strikes Back Really the Best Star Wars Film? |". 25 March 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2017.