Posts Tagged ‘Jean Luc Godard

21
Feb
17

Exhibition: ‘Film Stills: Photography between Advertising, Art and the Cinema’ at Albertina, Vienna

Exhibition dates: 4th November 2016 – 26th February 2017

 

I seem to have a bit of a thing for film and photography at the moment!

More delicious film fascination, this time for the still camera. German Expressionism, film noir, science-fiction, horror, murder and mayhem – photographers using all manner of artistic techniques to get their message across. Now often found in fine art auction houses.

I love the heading “Intermediality and Self-Reflexivity” … “intermediate images” that unite aspects of both media (film and photography) and self-reflexive images that take on a life of their own, developing “a filmic work further in an independent manner, thereby allowing it to be regarded from new perspectives. Such stills often contain self-reflexive commentary on the work’s specifically “filmic” aspects.”

Sensitive, sensual, snapshot; stars and auteurism; murder and mayhem; avant-garde, beauty and sex – it has it all. Great stuff.

Marcus

PS. Look at the amazing colours in Horst von Harbou’s stills for Metropolis (1927) which were produced as transparent foils and elaborately coloured by hand. Never heard of such a thing before, coloured transparent foils.

.
Many thankx to the Albertina for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Anonymous. 'La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc' 1927

 

Anonymous
La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc
1927
Karl Theodor Dreyer (director)

 

 

Carl Theodor Dreyer (3 February 1889 – 20 March 1968), commonly known as Carl Th. Dreyer, was a Danish film director. He is regarded by many critics and filmmakers as one of the greatest directors in cinema. His best known films include The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Vampyr (1932), Day of Wrath (1943), Ordet (1955), and Gertrud (1964) …

As a young man, Dreyer worked as a journalist, but he eventually joined the film industry as a writer of title cards for silent films and subsequently of screenplays. He was initially hired by Nordisk Film in 1913.

His first attempts at film direction had limited success, and he left Denmark to work in the French film industry. While living in France he met Jean Cocteau, Jean Hugo and other members of the French artistic scene and in 1928 he made his first classic film, The Passion of Joan of Arc. Working from the transcripts of Joan’s trial, he created a masterpiece of emotion that drew equally on realism and expressionism.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t know them: that picture from The Seven-Year Itch of a smiling Marilyn Monroe with her white dress blown upward by the air from a subway grate, or the photo of a conspiratorial James Stewart in Rear Window? Regardless of whether one has seen the actual movies, such images are familiar. It’s film stills like these that have burnt themselves into the collective memory and had a major impact on how their films are perceived.

Film stills embody visual traces of films as well as independent photographic images. Taken on set during production, they are based on an elaborate process in which film photographers re-stage film scenes for the still camera.

In the first-ever major exhibition devoted to this hybrid genre, the Albertina is showing 130 film stills taken between 1902 and 1975 in cooperation with the Austrian Film Museum. That was the period during which black-and-white film stills reached their highest level of technical and aesthetic quality, simultaneously covering a sweeping cross-section of various artistic movements from photographic and cinematic history such as Pictorialism and Expressionism. Employing pictures by Deborah Imogen Beer, Horst von Harbou, Pierluigi Praturlon, Karl Struss, and others, three aspects of this genre’s intermedial relationships are highlighted: the functions performed by film stills, the interfaces between photography and film with their breaks and couplings, and the additional artistic value of still photographs as such.

 

For the Media and the Press

The purpose of film stills is clearly defined: as material for the press and various types of advertising, they help to market films. And alongside their use in trailers, film journalism, and other marketing tools such as posters, film stills also represent a key ingredient of audience expectations pertaining to a film upon its release. Even so, it is the production of visually appealing images – rather than authentic reproduction of the film itself – that is important, here. In display windows and the media, still images visualise different aspects of a production ranging from key scenes to the actual filming work. This motivic variety corresponds to various film still categories: portrait photos of the actors and actresses taken by in-house studio photographers, as well as scene photos and making-of photos, are used in these contexts. And fed into numerous distribution processes, such photos also serve as models for posters, lobby cards, photo books, and press materials.

 

Intermediality and Self-Reflexivity

Film stills unite functional requirements with photographic and filmic intentions. And in fact, still photography is the only way in which to show visual traces of a production outside of the filmic event – the screening – itself. The challenges that photographers face in taking such shots lie in the difference between the media of moving (projected) film images and static (material) photography. In a complex and laborious process, they work on set to restage film scenes specifically for the still camera, thus transforming the film from a moving to a static medium.

The employment of various photographic strategies makes possible film stills’ “filmic” reception, with momentary photos that evoke a film’s dynamics being just as exemplary here as panoramic shots that require a longer look. Still photos thus repeat a film’s constituent elements, inscribing them onto a photographic medium in various ways and thus functioning as “intermediate images” that unite aspects of both media. They can be read not only as static views of a filmic reality, but also as independent types of photographic image. This quality is reinforced by the fact that stills frequently develop a filmic work further in an independent manner, thereby allowing it to be regarded from new perspectives. Such stills often contain self-reflexive commentary on the work’s specifically “filmic” aspects.

 

Film Stills at the Interface to Fine Art

Being situated between film and photography, many film stills also possess artistic qualities that are clearly photographic in nature. Here, composition plays a major role as it bears witness to a pictorial conception that differs from that of a filmic image. For while moving images are designed as horizontal arrangements, with the pictorial elements sequenced one after the other to effect their visual continuation, still photographers stage still photos according to the (static) central perspective governed by the camera’s vanishing point. This positions observers at that place which has been assigned them since the Renaissance – that is, looking straight down the picture’s central axis. Correspondingly, many stills exhibit reminiscences of the proscenium stage from traditional live theatre, favouring views that render scenes more immediate and thus more easily legible.

Photographers, in composing their images, often borrow iconographic and stylistic elements from various artistic movements: Expressionism, Art Nouveau, and Pictorialism are examples of these.

And in this way, still photographers depart from the original filmic work and realise their own pictorial ideas. Their photos thus refrain from “authentic” reproduction of a film’s various aspects, instead using these aspects to realise subjective artistic practices, thereby implying a reversal of the classic hierarchy between photography and film.

Press release from the Albertina

 

Paul Ronald. Edra Gale in 'Otto e mezzo' (Edra Gale in '8½') 1963

 

Paul Ronald
Edra Gale in Otto e mezzo (Edra Gale in)
1963
Director: Federico Fellini, 1963
Ekatchrome
© Archivio Storico del Cinema / AFE

 

 

(Italian title: Otto e mezzo) is a 1963 comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini. Co-scripted by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, and Brunello Rondi, it stars Marcello Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi, a famous Italian film director. Shot in black-and-white by cinematographer Gianni di Venanzo, the film features a soundtrack by Nino Rota with costume and set designs by Piero Gherardi.

 

Horst von Harbou. Georg John in 'M - A City searches for a Murderer' 1931

 

Horst von Harbou
Georg John in M – A City searches for a Murderer
1931
Gelatin silver print
Austrian Theatre Museum
© Horst von Harbou – Deutsche Kinemathek

 

 

M (German: M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder – “M – A city looks for a murderer”) is a 1931 German drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. It was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director’s first sound film. It concerns the manhunt for a serial killer of children, conducted by both the police and the criminal underworld. Now considered a classic, the film was deemed by Fritz Lang as his finest work.

Little Elsie Beckmann leaves school, bouncing a ball on her way home. She is approached by Hans Beckert, who is whistling “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg. He offers to buy her a balloon from a blind street-vendor [above] and walks and talks with her. Elsie’s place at the dinner table remains empty, her ball is shown rolling away across a patch of grass and her balloon is lost in the telephone lines overhead.

 

Unknown artist. 'Poster for "M"' 1931

 

Unknown artist
Poster for “M”
1931
Director: Fritz Lang (Austria, 1890-1976)
Collection of La Cinémathèque française

 

 

Wall texts

Advertising pictures

Aimed at inviting the public to buy a ticket, film stills were used as advertising photographs in cinema lobbies and as press material for the media. Directors and production companies depended on them for promoting their movies, because the film as a projected moving image is immaterial and does not exist beyond the screen. Stills comprise various types of pictures that show different aspects of a movie’s production: scenes, portraits of its actresses and actors, as well as production photographs capturing its shooting.

The production of stills was based on a division of labor. In major production companies like those of Hollywood, still photographers were assigned to the companies’ advertising or publicity departments. Sometimes involving the director, these departments selected the photographs intended for publication. The promotion photographs for the movie palaces’ lobbies were published in sets of twenty to forty pictures each, which visualised characteristic aspects of the film. A wider selection of stills was used for the press. Picture editors adapted the photographs according to their purposes. We find instructions for the material’s reproduction and cropping marks indicating new image areas; retouches deleted undesired elements and changed the motif in line with the planned layout.

 

Anonymous. Still from 'Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror' 1922

 

Anonymous
Still from Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror
1922
Director: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
Gelatin silver print
© Deutsche Kinemathek

 

Anonymous. Still from 'The Night of the Hunter' 1954

 

Anonymous
Still from The Night of the Hunter
1954
Silver gelatin print

 

Anonymous. Robert Mitchum in 'The Night of the Hunter' 1955

 

Anonymous
Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter
1955
Director: Charles Laughton
Gelatin silver print
© The John Kobal Collection

 

 

The Night of the Hunter is a 1955 American film noir directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. The screenplay by James Agee was based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis Grubb. The plot focuses on a corrupt reverend-turned-serial killer who attempts to charm an unsuspecting widow and steal $10,000 hidden by her executed husband.

The novel and film draw on the true story of Harry Powers, hanged in 1932 for the murder of two widows and three children in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The film’s lyrical and expressionistic style with its leaning on the silent era sets it apart from other Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s, and it has influenced later directors such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick, Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, and the Coen brothers.

In 1992, The Night of the Hunter was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. The influential film magazine Cahiers du cinéma selected The Night of the Hunter in 2008 as the second-best film of all time, behind Citizen Kane.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

The Night of the Hunter film poster 1955

 

The Night of the Hunter film poster 1955

 

Anonymous. Still from the film 'Vertigo, Judy behind Madeleine' 1957/58

 

Anonymous
Still from the film Vertigo, Judy behind Madeleine
1957/58
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Silver gelatin print

 

Vertigo film poster 1957/58

 

Vertigo film poster 1957/58

 

Bud Fraker (attributed to) Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and John Gavin in 'Psycho' 1960

 

Bud Fraker (attributed to)
Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and John Gavin in Psycho
1960
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Gelatin silver print
© Berlin, Deutsche Kinemathek – Paramount Pictures

 

 

Star portraits

Regarded as the supreme discipline of still photography, the portraiture of stars was an integral part of the film industry’s elaborate promotion campaigns. Productions could be effectively marketed by using actresses and actors to project their image. With the emergence of the studio system, Hollywood perfected this business strategy from the 1920s on by employing specialised portrait photographers. These photographers worked in company-owned studios and – unlike set photographers who mostly remained anonymous – were known by name. Relying on sophisticated lighting and drastic retouching, they created the aesthetic of the glamour portrait. Don English perfectly translated the lighting as it had been exactly planned by Josef von Sternberg, the director, for his film in his portrait of Marlene Dietrich for Shanghai Express (1932). Generally, domestic production companies could not afford to run their own portrait studios and were thus unable to exercise any influence on photographic products from outside. This offered both the stars and the studios a certain degree of freedom when it came to the representation and interpretation of a certain look. The photograph taken of Hedy Kiesler (later Lamarr) in her role in Gustav Machatý’s Ecstasy (1933) by the renowned studio Manassé in Vienna is one of the rare portrait stills taken on the set at that time.

 

Karl Struss. Gloria Swanson in 'Male and Female' 1919

 

Karl Struss
Gloria Swanson in Male and Female
1919
Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Gelatin silver print
© The John Kobal Foundation

 

 

Don English. Marlene Dietrich in 'Shanghai Express' 1932

 

Don English
Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express
1932
Director: Josef von Sternberg
Silver gelatin print

 

Raymond Cauchetier (French, born 1920) 'Jean Paul Belmondo & Jean Seberg, Paris, 1959' 1959

 

Raymond Cauchetier (French, born 1920)
Jean Paul Belmondo & Jean Seberg, Paris, 1959
1959
Still from the film Breathless
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Gelatin silver print

 

Breathless film poster 1960

 

Breathless film poster 1960

 

Anonymous. Still from the film 'Breathless' 1959

 

Anonymous
Still from the film Breathless
1959
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Gelatin silver print

 

Georges Pierre. Delphine Seyrig in 'Last Year in Marienbad' 1961

 

Georges Pierre
Delphine Seyrig in Last Year in Marienbad
1961
Director: Alain Resnais
Astor Pictures Corporation / Photofest
© Astor Pictures Corporation

 

 

Delphine Claire Beltiane Seyrig (10 April 1932 – 15 October 1990) was a Lebanese-born French stage and film actress, a film director and a feminist.

As a young woman, Seyrig studied acting at the Comédie de Saint-Étienne, training under Jean Dasté, and at Centre Dramatique de l’Est. She appeared briefly in small roles in the 1954 TV series Sherlock Holmes. In 1956, she returned to New York and studied at the Actors Studio. In 1958 she appeared in her first film, Pull My Daisy. In New York she met director Alain Resnais, who asked her to star in his film Last Year at Marienbad. Her performance brought her international recognition and she moved to Paris. Among her roles of this period is the older married woman in François Truffaut’s Baisers volés (1968).

During the 1960s and 1970s, Seyrig worked with directors including Truffaut, Luis Buñuel, Marguerite Duras, and Fred Zinnemann, as well as Resnais. She achieved recognition for both her stage and film work, and was named best actress at the Venice Film Festival for her role in Resnais’ Muriel ou Le temps d’un retour (1963). She played many diverse roles, and because she was fluent in French, English and German, she appeared in films in all three languages, including a number of Hollywood productions.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

L’Année dernière à Marienbad (released in the US as Last Year at Marienbad and in the UK as Last Year in Marienbad) is a 1961 French-Italian film directed by Alain Resnais from a screenplay by Alain Robbe-Grillet.

Last Year at Marienbad is famous for its enigmatic narrative structure, in which truth and fiction are difficult to distinguish, and the temporal and spatial relationship of the events is open to question, even if it never quite ventures into surrealism. The film’s dreamlike nature has both fascinated and baffled viewers; many have hailed the work as a masterpiece, while others consider it incomprehensible.

At a social gathering at a château or baroque hotel, a man approaches a woman. He claims they met the year before at Marienbad and is convinced that she is waiting there for him. The woman insists they have never met. A second man, who may be the woman’s husband, repeatedly asserts his dominance over the first man, including beating him several times at a mathematical game (a version of Nim). Through ambiguous flashbacks and disorienting shifts of time and location, the film explores the relationships among the characters. Conversations and events are repeated in several places in the château and grounds, and there are numerous tracking shots of the château’s corridors, with ambiguous voiceovers. The characters are unnamed in the film; in the published screenplay, the woman is referred to as “A”, the first man is “X”, and the man who may be her husband is “M”.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

L'Année dernière à Marienbad Japanese film poster 1961

 

L’Année dernière à Marienbad Japanese film poster 1961

 

 

Artistic pictures

Until the 1950s still photographers used large-format plate cameras, which projected an inverted image onto the focusing screen at the back of the body. These cameras produced technically brilliant pictures, yet were complicated to handle because of their size and comparatively long exposure times. The staging of stills had to be meticulously planned and was fundamentally different from the shooting of a film. While the film camera is geared to the story in motion and its visual continuation in the pictures to follow, actresses and actors posed for the photographer in tableaux-vivants-like arrangements using additional light. The resultant static and apparently artificial compositions mirroring the performative staging process are typical of this kind of photographs. Still photographers drew inspiration from works of art for their mise-en-scène. The anonymous photographer in charge of the stills for Henrik Galeen’s The Student of Prague (1926) quotes the Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich’s works in his theatrical presentation of an atmospheric landscape. Horst von Harbou, who frequently worked with the director Fritz Lang, drew on Carl Otto Czeschka’s Jugendstil [Art Noveau] illustrations from 1908 for his stills accompanying the first part of Die Nibelungen (1924). Harbou translated ornamental motifs into two-dimensional pictures, as Czeschka had done before him. Presenting their pictures in exhibitions and providing fine-art prints, still photographers positioned their works as artistically independent achievements.

 

Anonymous. Werner Krauss in 'The Student of Prague' 1926

 

Anonymous
Werner Krauss in The Student of Prague
1926
Gelatin silver print
Austrian Theatre Museum

 

Anonymous. Werner Krauss in 'The Student of Prague' 1926 (detail)

 

Anonymous
Werner Krauss in The Student of Prague (detail)
1926
Gelatin silver print
Austrian Theatre Museum

 

 

Intermediate pictures

The difficulty in capturing the scene of a movie in a still lies in the difference between the two media of (moving) film and (static) photograph. Still photographers employ intermedia strategies which facilitate a reading of the still in analogy to the experience of the film. Snapshots evoking the dynamics of the movie are as exemplary of this approach as are series of pictures rendering a sequence in the form of the movement’s individual phases captured at short intervals. Panorama pictures are also related to the film’s spatial and temporal dimensions, since a series of motifs resembling the chronological order of films successively “unwinds” in reading them. Informed by the interwar avant-garde, the photo montages for Walter Ruttmann’s experimental film Berlin – Symphony of a Great City (1927) show an extraordinary solution. They congenially transform the subjective modern filmic point of view by relating the motifs of the film to each other through illogical perspectives and proportions. Some of Horst von Harbou’s stills for Metropolis (1927) were produced as transparent foils and elaborately coloured by hand. Presented in backlight illumination, they established a self-reflexive reference to the cinema as films also reveal their ephemeral quality in their projection.

 

Anonymous. 'Berlin - Symphony of a Great City' 1927

 

Anonymous
Berlin – Symphony of a Great City
1927
Director: Walther Ruttmann
Gelatin silver print
© Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin

 

 

Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis (German: Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt) is a 1927 German film directed by Walter Ruttmann, co-written by Carl Mayer and Karl Freund.

The film is an example of the city symphony film genre. A musical score for an orchestra to accompany the silent film was written by Edmund Meisel. As a “city symphony” film, it portrays the life of a city, mainly through visual impressions in a semi-documentary style, without the narrative content of more mainstream films, though the sequencing of events can imply a kind of loose theme or impression of the city’s daily life…

The film displays the filmmaker’s knowledge of Soviet montage theory. Some socialist political sympathies, or identification with the underclass can be inferred from a few of the edits in the film, though critics have suggested that either Ruttmann avoided a strong position, or else he pursued his aesthetic interests to the extent that they diminished the potential for political content. Ruttmann’s own description of the film suggests that his motives were predominantly aesthetic: “Since I began in the cinema, I had the idea of making something out of life, of creating a symphonic film out of the millions of energies that comprise the life of a big city.”

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis poster

 

Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis poster

 

Horst von Harbou. Brigitte Helm in 'Metropolis' 1927

 

Horst von Harbou
Brigitte Helm in Metropolis
1927
Director: Fritz Lang
Gelatin silver print
Austrian Theatre Museum
© Horst von Harbou – Deutsche Kinemathek

 

Horst von Harbou. 'Metropolis' 1927

 

Horst von Harbou
Metropolis
1927
Director: Fritz Lang
Coloured transparent nitrocellulose film
Austrian Theatre Museum
© Horst von Harbou – Deutsche Kinemathek

 

 

Meta-pictures

Some directors supported the production of stills that put characteristic aspects of their films into a new perspective. In his masterpiece Persona (1966) Ingmar Bergman reflects the support material of film by showing the film strip crack and burn up during the projection. This self-referentiality of the medium was visualised by adding perforations to the photographs so that they resembled film frames. The perforations only served to quote the film as a medium; the motifs were actually mounted in black frames afterwards. Elaborate montages not to be seen in the film were also produced for Alfred Hitchcock’s movies. Rear Window (1954) confronts us with a photographer who watches a man whom he suspects of having committed a murder with binoculars and through a long-focus lens. By mounting pictures of the persons in the lens whom Stewart watches from his window in the film, the still photographer emphasised the issue of voyeurism as a central subject of the movie. The Austrian silent movie director Erich von Stroheim used film stills for visualising contents of his films that were regarded as problematic. Because of their length and supposedly questionable sexual passages Stroheim’s movies were regularly cut down by censorship authorities and production companies. This is why stills continuing the movie were planned in advance. The sexual allusions in a scene of Foolish Wives (1922) in which Stroheim embodies a Don Juan figure about to indecently assault a sleeping woman, for example, manifested themselves in a still in which we see him kissing the sleeping woman’s foot.

 

Anonymous. James Stewart in 'Rear Window' 1954

 

Anonymous
James Stewart in Rear Window
1954
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Gelatin silver print
© BFI National Archive: London

 

Anonymous. James Stewart in 'Rear Window' 1954 (detail)

 

Anonymous
James Stewart in Rear Window (detail)
1954
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Gelatin silver print
© BFI National Archive: London

 

Anonymous. Liv Ullman in 'Persona' (detail) 1966

 

Anonymous
Liv Ullman in Persona (detail)
1966
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Silver gelatin print

 

 

Persona is a 1966 Swedish psychological drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Persona’s story revolves around a young nurse named Alma (Andersson) and her patient, a well-known stage actress named Elisabet Vogler (Ullmann), who has suddenly ceased to speak. The two move to a cottage, where Alma cares for and talks to Elisabet about intimate secrets, and becomes troubled distinguishing herself from her.

Bergman wrote the film with Ullmann and Andersson in mind for the lead parts, and some idea of exploring their identities, and shot the film in Stockholm and Fårö. Often categorised as a psychological horror, Persona deals with themes of duality, insanity, and personal identity…

Persona has lent itself to a variety of interpretations, with Professor Thomas Elsaesser remarking it “has been for film critics and scholars what climbing Everest is for mountaineers: the ultimate professional challenge. Besides Citizen Kane, it is probably the most written-about film in the canon.” Much of the focus has been on the resemblance of the characters, demonstrated in shots of overlapping faces, and the possibility that the two characters are one. If they are one person, there is a question if Alma is fantasising about the actress she admires, or if Elisabet is examining her psyche, or if the boy is trying to understand who his mother is. In a question of duality, Alma represents soul while Elisabet represents a stern goddess. Susan Sontag suggests that Persona is constructed as a series of variations on a theme of “doubling”. The subject of the film, Sontag proposes, is “violence of the spirit”.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

'Persona' 1966 Swedish B1 Poster

 

Persona 1966 Swedish B1 Poster

 

Anonymous. Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman in 'Persona' (detail) 1966

 

Anonymous
Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman in Persona (detail)
1966
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Silver gelatin print

 

 

Key pictures

Stills precede the presentation of a film, decisively informing the expectations held by the public at the time of its release. What is important for a movie’s later success (or failure) is presenting visually enticing pictures rather than conveying an authentic picture of the movie. The most famous example in this regard is Sam Shaw’s still showing a scene of Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch (1955). Shaw highlighted the moment in which Marilyn Monroe stands on a subway grating far more pointedly than Wilder in the film, which neither shows the actress’s whole figure nor the dress billowing so clearly above her waist. The production company did its best for the promotion of the scene in the media: launching an elaborate publicity campaign, it fixed a special date for reporters and journalists to capture the sequence themselves. Such key images become characteristic signatures of a film with their dissemination by the media, sometimes inscribing themselves more deeply into the collective memory than the actual film scenes because of their iconic recognition value.

 

Anonymous. Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt and Lil Dagover in 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' 1919

 

Anonymous
Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt and Lil Dagover in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
1919
Director: Robert Wiene
Gelatin silver print
Austrian Theatre Museum

 

Anonymous. Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt and Lil Dagover in 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' 1919 (detail)

 

Anonymous
Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt and Lil Dagover in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (detail)
1919
Director: Robert Wiene
Gelatin silver print
Austrian Theatre Museum

 

 

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (German: Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, it tells the story of an insane hypnotist (Werner Krauss) who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders. The film features a dark and twisted visual style, with sharp-pointed forms, oblique and curving lines, structures and landscapes that lean and twist in unusual angles, and shadows and streaks of light painted directly onto the sets…

The film presents themes on brutal and irrational authority; Dr. Caligari represents the German war government, and Cesare is symbolic of the common man conditioned, like soldiers, to kill. In his influential book From Caligari to Hitler, Siegfried Kracauer says the film reflects a subconscious need in German society for a tyrant, and it is an example of Germany’s obedience to authority and unwillingness to rebel against deranged authority. He says the film is a premonition of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and says the addition of the frame story turns an otherwise “revolutionary” film into a “conformist” one. Other themes of the film include the destabilised contrast between insanity and sanity, the subjective perception of reality, and the duality of human nature.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari poster (1919)

 

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari poster (1919)

 

Sam Shaw. Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in 'The Seven Year Itch' 1954

 

Sam Shaw
Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in The Seven Year Itch
1954
Director: Billy Wilder
Gelatin silver print
© Sam Shaw Inc.- licensed by Shaw Family Archives, Private collection

 

Sam Shaw. Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in 'The Seven Year Itch' 1954 (detail)

 

Sam Shaw
Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in The Seven Year Itch (detail)
1954
Director: Billy Wilder
Gelatin silver print
© Sam Shaw Inc.- licensed by Shaw Family Archives, Private collection

 

 

Auteur pictures

The European auteur cinema of the 1950s and 1960s produced films outside the rigid studio system that had been the rule until then. Formal means such as editing and montage were used in an experimental way, and handy cameras made the shooting process more spontaneous. The changes in the production of films went hand in hand with new conditions for still photographers. As the photographers did not belong to the staff of the companies’ promotion departments like their US colleagues, most of their names are known. Whereas Hollywood photographers relied on large-format plate cameras, small-format cameras were used in Europe during the shooting of the film or directly before or after it. This resulted in spontaneous snapshots alongside traditional tableau-like stills. In the wake of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment, the constitutive act lay in the choice of the right moment. Still photographers such as Raymond Cauchetier and Angelo Novi had already tested this approach as photojournalists in reportages and documentaries before they started working on the set.

 

Georges Pierre. Anna Karina in 'Pierrot le fou' 1965

 

Georges Pierre
Anna Karina in Pierrot le fou
1965
Director: Jean Luc Godard
Gelatin silver print
Private collection
© Georges Pierre

 

Poster for La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life) 1959

 

Poster for La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life) 1959

 

Pierluigi Praturlon. Anita Ekberg as Sylvia in 'La Dolce Vita' (The Sweet Life) 1959

 

Pierluigi Praturlon
Anita Ekberg as Sylvia in La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life)
1959
Director: Federico Fellini
Gelatin silver print
Private Collection

 

 

La Dolce Vita (Italian for “the sweet life” or “the good life”) is a 1960 Italian comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Federico Fellini. The film follows Marcello Rubini, a journalist writing for gossip magazines, over seven days and nights on his journey through the “sweet life” of Rome in a fruitless search for love and happiness. La Dolce Vita won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Costumes, and remains one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time.

Based on the most common interpretation of the storyline, the film can be divided into a prologue, seven major episodes interrupted by an intermezzo, and an epilogue. If the evenings of each episode were joined with the morning of the respective preceding episode together as a day, they would form seven consecutive days, which may not necessarily be the case.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

 

Hans Natge

Born in Berlin, Hans Natge began his career as a theatre photographer. In the 1920s, he turned to still photography. Taking pictures of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Faust (1926), he came to test a new photographic approach which he called “snapshot photography,” which was to revolutionise the tradition of static and artificial film stills. Using small-format cameras and doing without additional light, Natge photographed during the shooting of the film right next to the cameraman, which permitted him to produce spontaneous and dynamic pictures. As this form of still photography still resulted in blurred pictures and sometimes captured the actors to their disadvantage at that time, Natge also took conventional stills in the case of Faust.

 

Hans Natge Still from the film 'Faust' 1926

 

Hans Natge
Still from the film Faust
1926
Director: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Albertina
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08
Mar
10

Exhibition: ‘F.C. Gundlach. The Photographic Work’ at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

Exhibition dates: November 20th 2009 – March 14th 2010

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'The Whole Day on the Beach' Gizeh/Egypt 1966

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
The Whole Day on the Beach
Gizeh/Egypt 1966 in Brigitte, Issue 8/1966

 

 

Many thankx to Marie Skov and Martin-Gropius-Bau for allowing me to reproduce the photographs in this posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

Marcus

 

F. C. Gundlach

F. C. Gundlach (Franz Christian Gundlach; born 16 July 1926 in Heinebach, Hesse) is a German photographer, gallery owner, collector, curator und founder. In 2000 he created the F.C. Gundlach Foundation, since 2003 he has been founding director of the House of Photography – Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

His fashion photographs of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, which in many cases integrated social phenomena and current trends in the visual arts, have left their context of origin behind and found their way into museums and collections. Since 1975 he also curated many internationally renowned photographic exhibitions. On the occasion of the reopening of the House of Photography in April 2005, he curated the retrospective of the Hungarian photographer Martin Munkácsi. Here, the exhibitions A Clear VisionThe Heartbeat of Fashion and Maloney, Meyerowitz, Shore, Sternfeld. New Color Photography of the 1970s from his collection were presented since 2003. Most recently he curated the exhibitions More Than Fashion for the Moscow House of Photography and Vanity for the Kunsthalle Wien 2011.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Erich von Stroheim during the shooting of "Alraune", Munich' 1952

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Erich von Stroheim during the shooting of “Alraune”, Munich
1952
Gelatin silver print

 

'The Bloody Pit of Horror: Alraune' (1952) film poster

 

The Bloody Pit of Horror: Alraune (1952) film poster

 

 

Erich von Stroheim

Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim (born Erich Oswald Stroheim; September 22, 1885 – May 12, 1957) was an Austrian-American director, actor and producer, most noted as a film star and avant garde, visionary director of the silent era. His masterpiece adaptation of Frank Norris’s McTeague titled Greed is considered one of the finest and most important films ever made. After clashes with Hollywood studio bosses over budget and workers’ rights issues, von Stroheim was banned for life as a director and subsequently became a well-respected character actor, particularly in French cinema. For his early innovations as a director, von Stroheim is still celebrated as one of the first of the auteur directors. He helped introduce more sophisticated plots and noirish sexual and psychological undercurrents into cinema. He died in 1957 in France of prostate cancer at the age of 71. Beloved by Parisian neo-Surrealists known as Letterists, he was honoured by Letterist Maurice Lemaitre with a 70-minute 1979 film entitled “Erich von Stroheim.”

Text from the Wikipedia website

Alraune is a 1952 West German science fiction directed by Arthur Maria Rabenalt and starring Hildegard Knef and Erich von Stroheim. The film involves a scientist (von Stroheim), who creates a woman who is beautiful and yet soulless, lacking any sense of morality.

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Cary Grant. A Star goes to the Ball' Berlin 1960

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Cary Grant. A Star goes to the Ball
Berlin 1960 in Film und Frau, Issue 16/1960
Gelatin silver print

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Jean-Luc Godard' Berlin 1961

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Jean-Luc Godard
Berlin 1961
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard (born 3 December 1930) is a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic. He rose to prominence as a pioneer of the 1960s French New Wave film movement.

Like his New Wave contemporaries, Godard criticised mainstream French cinema’s “Tradition of Quality”, which “emphasised craft over innovation, privileged established directors over new directors, and preferred the great works of the past to experimentation.” As a result of such argument, he and like-minded critics started to make their own films. Many of Godard’s films challenge the conventions of traditional Hollywood in addition to French cinema. In 1964, Godard described his and his colleagues’ impact: “We barged into the cinema like cavemen into the Versailles of Louis XV.” He is often considered the most radical French filmmaker of the 1960s and 1970s; his approach in film conventions, politics and philosophies made him arguably the most influential director of the French New Wave. Along with showing knowledge of film history through homages and references, several of his films expressed his political views; he was an avid reader of existential and Marxist philosophy. Since the New Wave, his politics have been much less radical and his recent films are about representation and human conflict from a humanist, and a Marxist perspective.

In a 2002 Sight & Sound poll, Godard ranked third in the critics’ top-ten directors of all time (which was put together by assembling the directors of the individual films for which the critics voted). He is said to have “created one of the largest bodies of critical analysis of any filmmaker since the mid-twentieth century.” He and his work have been central to narrative theory and have “challenged both commercial narrative cinema norms and film criticism’s vocabulary.” In 2010, Godard was awarded an Academy Honorary Award, but did not attend the award ceremony. Godard’s films have inspired many directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Brian De Palma, Steven Soderbergh, D. A. Pennebaker, Robert Altman, Jim Jarmusch, Wong Kar-wai, Wim Wenders, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Charlotte Rohrbach (German, 1902-1981) F. C. Gundlach photographing for German magazine Film und Frau (Film and Woman) in Berlin 1955, model Grit Hübscher, stole by Staebe-Seger

 

Charlotte Rohrbach (German, 1902-1981)
F. C. Gundlach photographing for German magazine Film und Frau (Film and Woman) in Berlin 1955, model Grit Hübscher, stole by Staebe-Seger
1955
Gelatin silver print

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Grit Hübscher. White atlas coat by Sinaida Rudow' Berlin 1954

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Grit Hübscher. White atlas coat by Sinaida Rudow
Berlin 1954

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Berlinale. Elsa Maxwell and Gina Lollobrigida, film ball in the Palais am Funkturm, X' Berlinale 1960

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Berlinale. Elsa Maxwell and Gina Lollobrigida, film ball in the Palais am Funkturm, X
Berlinale 1960 in Film und Frau, Issue 16/1960
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Elsa Maxwell

Elsa Maxwell (May 24, 1883 – November 1, 1963) was an American gossip columnist and author, songwriter, and professional hostess renowned for her parties for royalty and high society figures of her day.

Maxwell is credited with the introduction of the scavenger hunt and treasure hunt for use as party games in the modern era. Her radio program, Elsa Maxwell’s Party Line, began in 1942; she also wrote a syndicated gossip column. She appeared as herself in the films Stage Door Canteen (1943) and Rhapsody in Blue (1945), as well as co-starring in the film Hotel for Women (1939), for which she wrote the screenplay and a song.

 

Gina Lollobrigida

Luigina “Gina” Lollobrigida (born 4 July 1927) is an Italian actress, photojournalist and sculptor. She was one of the highest profile European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, a period in which she was an international sex symbol. As her film career slowed, she established second careers as a photojournalist and sculptor. In the 1970s, she achieved a scoop by gaining access to Fidel Castro for an exclusive interview.

She has continued as an active supporter of Italian and Italian American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2008, she received the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award at the Foundation’s Anniversary Gala. In 2013, she sold her jewellery collection, and donated the nearly $5 million from the sale to benefit stem cell therapy research.

Texts from the Wikipedia website

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Op Art Silhouette. Jersey coat by Lend' Paris 1966

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Op Art Silhouette. Jersey coat by Lend
Paris 1966 in Brigitte, Issue 4/1966
Gelatin silver print

 

 

“From November 2009 the Martin-Gropius-Bau presents the definitive retrospective of F.C. Gundlach’s extensive photographic work with the exhibition F.C. Gundlach – Photographic Work. F.C. Gundlach is one of the most famous fashion photographers worked for the most important magazines and publications from the middle of the 1950’s to 1990. Among other many famous pictures the most comprehensive presentation of F.C. Gundlach’s work shows many fameless facets of F.C. Gundlach’s work to date. After years of research, the curators Klaus Honnef, Hans-Michael Koetzle, Sebastian Lux and Ulrich Rüter present for the first time numerous unknown images as vintage prints alongside F.C. Gundlach’s famous photo icons.

The intention of the exhibition is to present the unique aesthetics of F.C. Gundlach’s photography, his roots in photojournalism, his focus on series and sequences, his narrative approach. Furthermore, the exhibition alludes to social and cultural issues over several decades.

The exhibition includes the experimental photography of his early years, especially those from Paris during the 1950’s, his remarkable portraits of German and international movie stars and film-directors as well as F.C. Gundlach’s early photo reportages and photographs of children.

For the first time, F.C. Gundlach’s work for magazines is presented on a larger scale. Magazine covers and a comprehensive collection of double-page spreads show his photographs within the magazines’ context, especially in Film und Frau (1951-1965) and Brigitte (1963-1986). Among photographs, title pages and a comprehensive selection of double pages of his pictures will be shown in context of the magazines. The exhibition illustrates that Gundlach has always been open to technical innovations in photography (35mm cameras, flash or colour photography).

His fashion productions took him both to Paris and New York and to Egypt and Morocco. This multiple printed photographs were been to special motifs in his work. F.C. Gundlach’s impressive travel reportages occurred amongst others in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and will be present in Berlin the first time. Original documents of his vita illustrate the life of the photographer. Moreover, the show illustrates the internationalization of his work due to extensive traveling. Documents and archival material give a brief outline of the artist’s life and work.

F.C. Gundlach himself has commented his functioning in a 60 min. interview-film, which was exclusively produced for the exhibition by filmmaker Reiner Holzemer. The exhibition presents: a life’s work of photography between documentary representation and staged artificiality, between practical and experimental photography.

F.C. Gundlach, born in 1926 in Heinebach (Hesse), is considered the most significant fashion photographer of the young Federal Republic of Germany. For more than four decades of fashion photography, he wrote fashion history with his work and shaped the perception of fashion in Germany decisively. He set the stage for the ever-changing vogues, defined postures and gestures of models, chose props and locations and thus reflected the ideals of beauty and the history of fashion against a changing social background. F.C. Gundlach worked on assignment for various magazines. His first publications were reportages, theatre- and movie reports. Through his work for the magazine Film und Frau he became a fashion photographer. His photographs have been published in many distinguished magazines such as: Deutsche Illustrierte, Stern, Revue, Quick, Elegante Welt, Film und Frau, Annabelle, Brigitte, Twen and Deutsch. For Brigitte alone F.C. Gundlach photographed more than 5500 pages as well as about 180 magazine covers.”

Press release from the Martin-Gropius-Bau website [Online] Cited 05/03/2010 no longer available online

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Slow. Karin Mossberg' Nairobi/Kenia 1966

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Slow. Karin Mossberg
Nairobi/Kenia 1966 in Brigitte, Issue 9/1966
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Karin Mossberg was born on January 1, 1947 in Linkoping, Ostergotland, Sweden as Agneta Anna Karin Mossberg. She is an actress, known for The Big Cube (1969), La vida nueva de Pedrito de Andía (1965) and Les pianos mécaniques (1965).

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Simone d'Aillencourt. Sheath dress by Horn' Berlin 1957

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Simone d’Aillencourt. Sheath dress by Horn
Berlin 1957 in Film und Frau, Issue Spring/Summer 1957
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Simone D’Aillencourt

Simone D’Aillencourt or d’Aillencourt (née Daillencourt, born 22 September 1930) is a retired French model. Her career in modelling, during which she achieved significant success, took place from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s. She is best known as the subject of Melvin Sokolsky’s “Bubble” photographic series taken in Paris for Harper’s Bazaar in 1963. She had two daughters during her marriage to José Bénazéraf.

Simone D’Aillencourt was born on 22 September 1930 in Vizille, the daughter of Leon and Anna Daillencourt.

Her activities in the modeling profession began in England. D’Aillencourt began her successful career in Edinburgh in 1954 after a visit by Lucie Clayton. She posed for the British magazine Vogue and then went back and forth between Britain and France. She worked regularly for Pierre Cardin, sometimes for Jacques Heim, and posed for various magazines such as ElleL’OfficielVogue Paris or also Le Jardin des Modes. Due to her job, she traveled many times, posing for William Klein for whom she would become one of his favourites, Irving Penn, John French, Richard Avedon, or also French photographer Georges Dambier or Jeanloup Sieff, who “often photographed” according to him. Independent while the agencies are then little developed, she was contacted by Eileen Ford and invited to New York. She then met the influential Diana Vreeland, which further propelled her career.

In early 1963, D’Aillencourt was selected by Melvin Sokolsky for his “Bubble” series for Harper’s Bazaar. She had her test shot in colour taken in New York, which the staff of Harper’s Bazaar approved. She flew to Paris on 20 January 1963 to have her photos taken by Sokolsky. During the shoot, the Bubble that D’Aillencourt was in was lowered too far into the Seine, which damaged the designer shoes that she was wearing.

D’Aillencourt made her final series of photographs in India, with photographer Henry Clarke, in 1969 after a successful career of 15 years. Throughout her career, she always kept with the trends over time, from the sophistication of the 1950s to the greatest freedom of clothing the following decade. Some time after she stopped modelling, she founded a modelling agency in Paris, Model International, which quickly grew, and then a second agency of a more modest size, Image. She was married to José Bénazéraf, their second daughter Béatrice also having integrated modeling as a booker. In 2008, D’Aillencourt attended the festival at Hyères to celebrate the exhibitions of Sokolsky’s work.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Op Art Swimsuit. Brigitte Bauer, Op Art swimsuit by Sinz Vouliagmeni' Greece 1966

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Op Art Swimsuit. Brigitte Bauer, Op Art swimsuit by Sinz Vouliagmeni
Greece 1966
Gelatin silver print

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Rainweather, party sunshiny. Three poplin coats by Staebe-Seger' Berlin 1955

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Rainweather, party sunshiny. Three poplin coats by Staebe-Seger
Berlin 1955
Gelatin silver print

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926) 'Romy Schneider' Hamburg 1961

 

F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Romy Schneider
Hamburg 1961 in Film und Frau, Issue 11/1962
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Romy Schneider

Romy Schneider (23 September 1938 – 29 May 1982) was a film actress and voice actress born in Vienna and raised in Germany who held German and French citizenship. She started her career in the German Heimatfilm genre in the early 1950s when she was 15. From 1955 to 1957, she played the central character of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Austrian Sissi trilogy, and later reprised the role in a more mature version in Visconti’s Ludwig. Schneider moved to France, where she made successful and critically acclaimed films with some of the most notable film directors of that era.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

 

Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin
Niederkirchnerstraße 7
Corner Stresemannstr. 110
10963 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 254 86-0

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Monday 10 – 19 hrs
Tuesday closed

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Padlocks/People’ 1994-96

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