Born in 1940 in Curaçao (then Netherlands Antille), he moved to Amsterdam in 1953 to study at the Netherlands Film Academy. He worked as cinematographer on a number of shorts before collaborating with Wim Wenders on his first feature, Summer in the City. Müller's other work has been mainly on independent films.
Having worked with Wim Wenders, Lars von Trier, Jim Jarmusch and Steve McQueen amongst others, Müller is widely acclaimed for his distinctive style and philosophical approach. Rather than relying on the possibilities offered by technology, Müller’s starting point was always the story being told and the emotions involved. His work, on films such as Paris, Texas and Down by Law, has been praised for complementing and shaping narratives through light, color and camera angles.
A lesser-known facet of Müller’s artistic output is his vast archive of Polaroids. Taken from an experimental standpoint, his Polaroids see Müller exploring the many faceted relationship between light, camera and photographer.
Müller would often take Polaroids in moments in between his work on set, as studies in light and composition. As such, they mainly document his hotel rooms or the abstract patterns in urban landscapes he came upon during his walks through foreign cities. He would seek out lines in the typical square Polaroid format and find movement in light through the interplay of reflection and shadow. Müller also often photographed complex situations, such as the ‘blue hour’ where artificial and natural light meet. There is a clear line to be drawn therefore between the Polaroids and the films Müller made, with Mülller here establishing painterly tableaus through the instant medium of Polaroid. These stilled moments and compositions display the working mind and eye of Müller.