Ralf D Bode
German-born cinematographer Ralf D Bode immigrated to the USA in 1954 and gravitated to filmmaking in the US Army Signal Corps. After working as a gaffer and lighting designer for director John G Avildsen, he graduated to director of photography duties on a spate of minor films before evoking the gritty, sweaty milieu of disco New York in John Badham's "Saturday Night Fever" (1977). His first collaboration with director Michael Apted, "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980), brought him acclaim (and an Oscar nomination) for his effective use of Kentucky and Tennessee locations to evoke the hardscrabble beginnings of country singer Loretta Lynn. In his next pairing with Apted ("Gorky Park" 1983), he helped make Helsinki stand in for Moscow, presenting a plausible portrait of life in the then-current Soviet Union. Bode's films with Apted include two feature documentaries, "Bring on the Night" (1985) and "The Long Way Home", and he also made his directing debut in 1993 for (executive producer) Apted with an episode ("The Harvest") of the ABC series "Crossroads".
Bode's contributions greatly enhanced "Dressed to Kill", Brian De Palma's stylish 1980 exercise in ersatz-Hitchcock suspense-terror, helping maintain the fever pitch from start to finish. In addition to Apted and Avildsen, he has enjoyed multiple feature associations with directors Jack Fisk ("Raggedy Man" 1981, "Violets Are Blue" 1986), Jonathan Kaplan ("The Accused" 1988, "Love Field" 1992, "Bad Girls" 1994) and screenwriter Holly Goldberg Sloan ("The Big Green" 1995, "American Pie" 1999). Bode's best work during the 90s probably came on CBS' adaptations of "Gypsy" (1993, starring Bette Midler) and "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1995, with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin) and the spectacular, multi-ethnic "Wonderful World of Disney" presentation of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" (ABC, 1997), starring Brandy in the title role and featuring Whitney Houston, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg and Bernadette Peters, among others. He was also responsible for the hazy warm look of Anne De Salvo's hysterical 20-minute short, "Women Without Implants" (1997), shown as a segment of "The Lifetime Women's Film Festival".