Sunday, January 4, 2009

Where To Be Seen, and By Whom

SEEN BEHIND THE SCENE: Forty Years of Photographing on Set, by Mary Ellen Mark

Not really crime, but some gorgeous pix it would be a crime to miss...

In my coleslaw days, I was lucky enough to edit a magazine called Show, then owned by Huntington Hartford. The best movie set photographer in the business, Mary Ellen Mark, did several of her famous black and white behind the scenes film stories for the magazine. Now, 40-odd years later, Mark has collected her finest work - 250 b&w pictures taken on over 100 film sets during her extraordinary career - in a lovely volume published by Phaidon Press.

From CATCH 22 to APOCALYPSE NOW and FELLINI'S SATYRICON, Mark proves how she became the undisputed Lens Queen. And words from top actors, directors and writers give her work an extra dimension.

In hard, cold times like these, visual treats are the ones that last.

(Speaking of great films, get your hands on Jean-Pierre Melville's absolutely stunning ARMY OF SHADOWS from Netflix. It's a heartbreaking new edition of the director's 1969 classic about the French Resistance, with Lino Ventura, Simone Signoret, Paul Meurisse and Jean-Pierre Cassel.)

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