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Author Topic: Magnum at the Movies  (Read 623 times)

Rob C

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Magnum at the Movies
« on: September 18, 2017, 03:35:48 AM »

The BBC ran a film last night on the Magnum presence at the making of various Hollywood films.

Very interesing story about the connection between the two bodies that (says the BBC) initially happened because of an affair between Robert Capa and Ingrid Bergman. There's irony in that Capa's dream of a life in movies soured on him, and he returned to reportage and his own death.

It's quite remarkable how personal ties can create effects far wider. Anyway, that aside, it shows once more that life and business are all about personal relationships and people deciding that yes, they like that person, and, eventually, trust them enough to allow full access to whatever. Anyone expecting the rustle of diplomas to do that for them is in the wrong business. Actually, Capa was but one of the Magnum crew who made friends with directors and so forth; several became photographer of choice that way, not to do the stock PR shots, but the "making of" stuff that proved so interesting down the years.

One should also bear in mind that many of those photographers were autodidacts, doing what they did because that's what they did, which, incidentally, is one of the reasons that I believe people should try to grow their vision on their own, away from mentors and teachers who, at best, will turn them into clones. Ask how to work something technical, but keep what your see your own. You can't, successfully, be anyone else, so do the best job of being you.

As Hollywood's movies dwindled in importance compared to the power of television, and as magazines slowly gave space away to the work of the paparazzo cult, Magnum showed no interest in sexploitaion and withdrew.

There's quite a measure there of where civilization is headed. We rather look at the knickers (or lack of) of some starlet getting out of a low car than observe the frailties, the emotional moments of humanity behind the mask of the biggest star. Our money has spoken for us.

Rob


GrahamBy

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Re: Magnum at the Movies
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 06:07:26 AM »

People skills, as you say.

It seems also to have been important for Newton, who got to do some startling portrait work with movie stars because, seemingly, they enjoyed working with him. He loudly regretted the coming of the PR consultants who inserted themselves between him and the later generation of "personalities"... but it may also have been that he was getting on the chemistry no longer worked.

What is really sad is what Magnum has become since it was bought by the Chinese :(

PS: there are so many examples of some initial "take" between a photographer and a model or group of subjects... Bailey is obvious, but I was also reminded of Peter Andersen and his bonding with the denizens of that dodgy bar in Hambourg...

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Rob C

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Re: Magnum at the Movies
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 02:56:54 PM »

People skills, as you say.

It seems also to have been important for Newton, who got to do some startling portrait work with movie stars because, seemingly, they enjoyed working with him. He loudly regretted the coming of the PR consultants who inserted themselves between him and the later generation of "personalities"... but it may also have been that he was getting on the chemistry no longer worked.

What is really sad is what Magnum has become since it was bought by the Chinese :(

PS: there are so many examples of some initial "take" between a photographer and a model or group of subjects... Bailey is obvious, but I was also reminded of Peter Andersen and his bonding with the denizens of that dodgy bar in Hambourg...


Yes, and it's pretty powerful medicine when your stars are in alignment!

My passing thoughts on the matter:

http://ssanse.weebly.com/issue-3.html

Rob

Telecaster

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Re: Magnum at the Movies
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 03:53:22 PM »

As Hollywood's movies dwindled in importance compared to the power of television, and as magazines slowly gave space away to the work of the paparazzo cult, Magnum showed no interest in sexploitaion and withdrew.

There's quite a measure there of where civilization is headed. We rather look at the knickers (or lack of) of some starlet getting out of a low car than observe the frailties, the emotional moments of humanity behind the mask of the biggest star. Our money has spoken for us.

The Society Of The Spectacle. A book I discovered via, of all things, The Sex Pistols. (More specifically their poster designer and all-around graphics guy, Jamie Reid.) Like much Marx-influenced thought IMO, it's clear on diagnosis but fuzzy if not downright silly in prescription.

-Dave-
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