Articles Tagged with: Cinema
Constantine | Tilda Swinton as Gabriel
Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005


Watabe Yukichi | A Criminal Investigation

The book A Criminal Investigation released by Le Bal a few years ago, displays the work of freelance photographer Watabe Yukichi as he follows police detectives assigned to a grisly murder investigation in 1958 Tokyo.

The cinematic quality, the heavy noir tone, the procedural elements of the investigation harken to the great Hollywood noir classics but especially to the Kurosawa police procedurals, High and Low and Stray Dog.

Read more about the book here or purchase the book here.

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi


Arnold Newman | Portraits
Roy Lichtenstein, 1976 © Arnold Newman

Roy Lichtenstein, 1976 © Arnold Newman

If it’s a good photograph and says something about the person, than I think it’s a good portrait.

– Arnold Newman

Piet Mondrian, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Piet Mondrian, 1942 © Arnold Newman

I wasn’t mimicking it (Mondrian’s style), I was echoing it. I did it deliberately and when he saw the results, he loved it. He gave me the original drawings of Broadway Boogie-Woogie. It was the only thing he could give me. I was stunned at the time.

The thing is I was trying to say with my photographs what Mondrian meant to me. That I would copy his work or anybody else’s in order to do it to me would be horrifying because I would be copying and not creating. A lot of people do that. The man by the way is stiff, linear and very formal, just like his own work.

– Arnold Newman

Truman Capote, 1977 © Arnold Newman

Truman Capote, 1977 © Arnold Newman

Ayn Rand, 1964 © Arnold Newman

Ayn Rand, 1964 © Arnold Newman

Ava Gardner, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Ava Gardner, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Movie stars, actors…all they have is themselves. They have no other ability but to go on and portray somebody else. They don’t know how to be themselves. And it becomes a very difficult thing. Very rarely a great artist, not rarely, but only a few of them can say I don’t really care, I have warts, photograph me with the warts.

– Arnold Newman

Carl Sandburg and Marilyn Monroe, 1962 © Arnold Newman

Carl Sandburg and Marilyn Monroe, 1962 © Arnold Newman

I was acquainted with Carl at that time. He was working on the west coast, working on the words of Jesus in the Greatest Story Ever Told. He said come on out, let’s start work. I stayed with a friend of mine, a producer on a film, Something’s Got To Give. And that was of course the film that Marilyn didn’t finish.

I never saw the glamorous creature. Oh, I saw flashes of her in public and all that. But in the privacy of the home and wherever we were at, and later at my home, I saw nothing but a sad, sick girl.

– Arnold Newman

Leonard Bernstein, 1968 © Arnold Newman

Leonard Bernstein, 1968 © Arnold Newman

Max Ernst, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Max Ernst, 1942 © Arnold Newman

You wait for things to happen. Let’s say, I think I would like to photograph you over here, how about you standing behind the desk for a moment for me, and they’ll do that. Now, let’s face it, if you’ve got a very irritable subject or a man who is pretty rough and tough, President Johnson specifically, why don’t you just stand there for a few minutes, you just can’t do that. As a matter of fact, he gave me fifteen minutes, of course I took forty five. The idea was was that I was loosening him up, to get him used to the idea of photographing. I had to take a risk, my first risk shots, my insurance pictures at the beginning. They were not bad, but they were stiff and he was uptight, looking at his watch mentally.

Later, I got him to relax, we were kidding, he leaned sort of like this as he was waiting for me to get my camera ready again, which before he was very upset that I wasn’t ready. I was doing this on purpose. Finally, when he was like this, I said, don’t move.

– Arnold Newman

Alfred Krupp, 1963 © Arnold Newman

Alfred Krupp, 1963 © Arnold Newman

The worst people in the world, the real villains of today very often as Hitchcock said, hide in broad daylight, you just don’t recognize them. That’s the way Krupp was. He looked like a nice distinguished gentlemanly human being and he looked at my pictures and said, “Mr. Newman, I love your photographs so I think maybe we should take photographs.”

I worked this out where I got the lights to come under him, the usual thing. The result was that when I got him there, it was working but not really working. I had built a little platform of about two meters high, long enough to accommodate the both of us, him straddling a chair. I didn’t want to over do it. The lights were working beautifully but it just didn’t give me what I wanted. I went to Herr Bolen, that was his family name, “would you lean forward” and he leaned this way and my hair stood on end. There was the devil.

And they declared me persona non grata in Germany.

– Arnold Newman

Arthur Miller, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Arthur Miller, 1947 © Arnold Newman

John F. Kennedy © Arnold Newman

John F. Kennedy © Arnold Newman

Portraiture is a term that has taken on all these barnacles, all these terrible things that have happened to portraiture, on canvas, on stone, on metal, and then in photography. It’s something that is done to please the subject. A photographer is nothing more than a whore who does nothing but sit there thinking, will it please the subject, will i be able to sell him this picture, or will I be able to please him so he will buy it.

And the result is that little by little, people have begun to look down at portraiture, forgetting that the greatest artists in the world from Rembrandt, to Holbein, on up to Stieglitz and Strand, what have you, have all done portraiture and loved it. I happen to particularly love photographing people.

– Arnold Newman

Bill Clinton © Arnold Newman

Bill Clinton © Arnold Newman

Ansel Adams, 1975 © Arnold Newman

Ansel Adams, 1975 © Arnold Newman

Man Ray, 1948 © Arnold Newman

Man Ray, 1948 © Arnold Newman

Well, I didn’t mean to make a series of photographs on artists. My intent was explicitly to experiment with portraiture. And I hate the word portraiture. I prefer to call it photographs of people.

When I came to New York, you have to understand, in 1938, things were still bad from the depression and there wasn’t much money. I was unknown. I had this desire to make photographs of people but I didn’t know anyone. The ones that I wanted to meet, the ones that seemed to me, gave me the greatest opportunity…the artists were absolutely perfect.

– Arnold Newman

Salvador Dali, 1951 © Arnold Newman

Salvador Dali, 1951 © Arnold Newman

Henri Cartier-Bresson, NYC, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Henri Cartier-Bresson, NYC, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Cartier-Bresson is not a photojournalist. He takes individual images if you really look at them.

– Arnold Newman

Marc Chagall, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Marc Chagall, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Course Stieglitz was a man who I greatly admired and I had no idea that I was going to meet him. I do remember the fact that kept using words like inventive but the word that he kept using was honesty. He kept urging me then and later to be honest.

– Arnold Newman

Jean Dubuffet, 1956 © Arnold Newman

Jean Dubuffet, 1956 © Arnold Newman

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Great photographs are not made with a camera. They are made by a human being with a mind. And he uses a tool. If that tool cannot make a great work of art, then he discards the tool. As long as the tools are available to us to make something that satisfies us, we’ll use it, no matter how imperfect it is.

– Arnold Newman

I.M. Pei, 1967 © Arnold Newman

I.M. Pei, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Claes Oldenburg, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Claes Oldenburg, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Igor Stravinsky, 1946 © Arnold Newman

Igor Stravinsky, 1946 © Arnold Newman

It all came to head in just a moment. I had been going to concerts and looking at various instruments. I had already photographed musical instruments in part and in whole and that sort of thing. Suddenly I realized that I had been admiring the shape of the piano and suddenly it hit me The piano shape – strong, hard, sharp, linear, beautiful in this strong harsh way was really the echo of Stravinsky’s work, his own music. When I thought about that, reflected on that, I thought where can I get a piano?

We found an editor who had a piano with a very simple wall, very simple background. I was able to manipulate the light on the background by simply taking one 1,000 watt light and moving it around until I got the exact light I wanted.

– Arnold Newman

Marcel Duchamp, 1966 © Arnold Newman

Marcel Duchamp, 1966 © Arnold Newman

Jean Arp, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Jean Arp, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Isamu Noguchi, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Isamu Noguchi, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Pablo Picasso, 1954 © Arnold Newman

Pablo Picasso, 1954 © Arnold Newman

[For the Picasso image] I used a small portion of a 4×5 negative which was part of a series that I did. I love the whole photograph, I still think that that is a successful photograph. What I realized in examining the photograph, the most exciting thing was face and his eyes so I decided to blow up that little section and make that the full image. And I blew it up and it was so successful, the old story, less is more. The impact of that closely cropped head with those fantastic eyes increased the value of the picture instead of decreasing it and it probably became one of my best known photographs.

– Arnold Newman

Louise Nevelson, 1972 © Arnold Newman

Louise Nevelson, 1972 © Arnold Newman


Raising Arizona | Hi’s Letter to Ed
Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona (1987)

Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona (1987)

My dearest Edwina,

Tonight, as you and Nathan slumber, my heart is filled with anguish. I hope that you will both understand and forgive me for what I have decided I must do. By the time you read this, I will be gone.

I will never be the man that you want me to be, the husband and father that you and Nathan deserve.

Maybe it’s my upbringing. Maybe it’s just that my genes got screwed up. I don’t know. But the events of the last day have showed amply that I don’t have the strength of character to raise up a family in a manner befitting a responsible adult.

I say all this to my shame.

I will love you always, truly and deeply. But I fear that if I stay, I would only bring bad trouble on the heads of you and Nathan Jr. I feel this thunder gathering even now. If I leave, hopefully, it will leave with me.

I cannot tarry. Better I should go, send you money, and let you curse my name.

Your loving –

Herbert

Randall 'Tex' Cobb in Raising Arizona (1987)

Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb in Raising Arizona (1987)

Raising Arizona (1987)

Raising Arizona (1987)


Memoirs of a Geisha | Background Actors

In 2005, me and a friend started checking out general casting calls. She was a freelance programmer and, as a photographer, we were both a little slow at the time. I am not an actor and never wanted to be one, but if you live in Los Angeles, these opportunities are always out there and my friend, who is Japanese, thought it would be fun.

We attended an open call for Memoirs of a Geisha and were both immediately cast as background actors. We were both in different eras and scenes of the movie, she as a Fifties modern dressed prostitute and myself as a 1930’s Japanese general. Which was too bad because our intention had been to do this together but it meant that we would have different shooting days.

The life of an extra is bizarre and worthy of the articles and TV shows that have been created about it. I won’t go too long here but suffice to say that we were treated as just above set decorations yet occasionally were called upon to act. A lot of aspiring actors were in the mix, many having done numerous shows and films. There were hundreds of extras in my scenes of the army invading a village and sumo wrestling scene.

These were long eighteen hour days, getting paid very little, sitting around in costume and make up for hours, the boredom broken up only with the meal calls and the herding of us to set. The costuming was incredible for this film and I must say it was cool to sit around with a bunch of attractive geishas all day. And for the smokers in the crowd, some of the period set props were Camel unfiltered cigarettes. I smoked way too much over those days.

Since I was a shooter, I carried my Leica with me everywhere, including that set. I was, however, extremely conscious of the sensitivity of shooting unapproved on set since I had done production work before. But one day, I broke it out to shoot this girl because the light in the soundstage was just perfect. Soon, we all broke out our cameras and were taking group shots.

The next day, they issued a memo, instructing us to not take photos.

And yes, my shots were cut and my friend’s elbow was the only thing that made it into a scene.

But I did get the chance to be near Gong Li and that alone was worth the price of admission.

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Memoirs of a Geisha; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim


Alex Cox | A Spaghetti Western Roundup

The great Alex Cox has written an article for the New York Times for the current mini-festival of Spaghetti Westerns at the Film Forum here in NYC. Click here for the article and click here for more about Alex Cox.

The future is always a dystopia in movies.

– Alex Cox

Cjamango (1967)

Cjamango (1967)


Melancholia | Opening Sequence

Images from the majestic opening sequence to Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, the rich texture of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde prelude, a sweeping backdrop to the slow, ambling march towards apocalypse.

It is all lovely terror, lush CGI, studio-lit nature as artifice, slow and heavy symbolism.

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011)


Phil Stern | John Wayne

Wayne and I were poster boys for the Odd Couple. Politically and socially, he was 140 degrees to the right of Genghis Khan. I was oppositely inclined. He’d call me a bomb-throwing Bolshevik. It was a love-hate thing. We’d get in big arguments, especially with a little booze in us.

– Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

I was in the USSR on my first visit in 1959 doing general coverage for my agency. While there I went to the main post office in Moscow and found the most graphic stamps with the largest images of Stalin and Lenin that I could find. I put them on postcards and addressed them to Wayne at his Newport Beach home. About a year later in a meeting he said to me, “I did get those postcards from Russia, you son of a bitch!” That was his catchphrase, he used it all the time. Like the time I pointed out his son Jonathan Ethan Wayne’s monogrammed initials on his luggage (“You son of a bitch!”).

– Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

We were once in Durango, Mexico – the middle of nowhere (I digress – but he shot there a lot because of the lack of telephone and telegraph poles, as his pictures were set in the 1800s. Mexico gave him the wide vistas he needed.) He had a turbo jet airplane that he used like most people used like station wagons to transport his family to locations. They’d never come out to the actual location – it was too remote. It was Pilar and Ethan (I think it was the trip with the luggage, actually.) Anyway, Wayne was getting made up and Ethan said to him, “Daddy, why do you make these movies in the ‘middle of nowhere’ as Mommy says?” and Wayne said, “To keep Mommy supplied in tennis balls!”

– Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

He was a mixed bag, like all of us. He had his tender, warm, loving moments, but he was also an S.O.B.

– Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

He was very tenacious about protecting his identity as a western, macho he-man. He would not allow anyone to make fun of that except himself.

– Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne & Gary Cooper © Phil Stern

John Wayne & Gary Cooper © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern

John Wayne © Phil Stern


Leica Sighting | Closer
Julia Roberts shooting Natalie Portman with a chrome Leica M6 TTL and 50mm Summicron; from the movie Closer (2004)

Julia Roberts shooting Natalie Portman with a chrome Leica M6 TTL and 50mm Summicron; from the movie Closer (2004)

Julia Roberts shooting Natalie Portman with a chrome Leica M6 TTL and 50mm Summicron; from the movie Closer (2004)

Julia Roberts shooting Natalie Portman with a chrome Leica M6 TTL and 50mm Summicron; from the movie Closer (2004)

Julia Roberts shooting Jude Law with a Hasselblad; from the movie Closer (2004)

Julia Roberts shooting Jude Law with a Hasselblad; from the movie Closer (2004)

Julia Roberts shooting Jude Law with a Hasselblad; from the movie Closer (2004)

Julia Roberts shooting Jude Law with a Hasselblad; from the movie Closer (2004)