In1969 he photographed “Kes”, directed by Ken Loach, his first film as cinematographer. He was also behind the camera on Stephen Frears’ first feature film “Gumshoe” in 1971. Chris Menges has collaborated on eleven films with Ken Loach and seven with Stephen Frears.
After several documentaries and feature films, amongst them Black Beauty (1971), Bloody Kids (1978), The Game Keeper (1980), Black Jack, Babylon (1980) and Angel (1982) he became notable for more ambitious works for which he was critically acclaimed.
In 1983 he received his first BAFTA nomination for the Bill Forsyth film “Local Hero” and only a year later won his first Academy Award for the film “The Killing Fields” about the genocide in Cambodia. He continued his work with director Roland Joffe and he won his second Academy Award in 1986 with the historical drama “The Mission”.
In 1988 his directional debut was with “A World Apart”. This film was celebrated at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival and which won three major awards for the three actresses and Grand Jury prize for its director,. It won best director from the New York Critics.
In 1995 he teamed up with Neil Jordan to photograph the award winning film “Michael Collins” for which he won his third Oscar nomination. In1997 he photographed “The Boxer” for Jim Sheridan.
He shared his fourth Oscar nomination with Roger Deakins for their work on Stephen Daltry’s ‘The Reader’.
This is his third film with Michael Fitzgerald following ‘The Pledge (Sean Penn) and ‘The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada’ (Tommy Lee Jones).