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Author Topic: Saul Leiter  (Read 3240 times)

Rob C

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Saul Leiter
« on: December 11, 2017, 04:01:37 PM »

donbga

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 09:29:42 PM »

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Telecaster

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 12:05:07 AM »

Looking at this I've realized (again) that approx. 30% of the photos I take are ripoffs of Leiter's disguise the subject by focusing on something else closer to you gambit.  ;D

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 04:23:40 AM »

Actually, one of the things that delights me about Leiter, other than his photography, is his style of verbal communication and his lack of reverence for the photographic establishment.

I found the same attitude in my Jeanloup Sieff book from Taschen; written in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese it's a mix of the first two that gets me through the many pages of text. What defeats me in one language usually explains itself in the other, possibly offering a defence for the old idea of Esperanto. However, that aside, both photographers take a fairly wry view of the medium and all the peripherals that grew around it, from the pretentiousness of the salesmen to the exploitation of the "artists" in many cases.

Who would have imagined that such a humble, on the face of it, occupation could produce such interesting personalities! Perhaps, in fact, it was personality that took them into the business in the first place - of course, it must have been. Now, after their passing, many of them still provide pleasure. Not a lot of people can lay claim to that outwith the artistic community. Well, being dead, I suppose it's impossible for them... at least, on the level of the living.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 04:41:47 AM »

Sieff's French is wonderful: he writes in a very formal grammar (passé historique) so as to mock the over-seriousness of it all. "Arch" is the appropriate English adjective, I think. Someone, somewhere wrote about life being too serious to not laugh at it... and yes, both Seiff and Leiter capture that whimsical beauty. rather like Pina Bausch, my favourite philosopher of art ;-)
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Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 05:05:53 AM »

Sieff's French is wonderful: he writes in a very formal grammar (passé historique) so as to mock the over-seriousness of it all. "Arch" is the appropriate English adjective, I think. Someone, somewhere wrote about life being too serious to not laugh at it... and yes, both Seiff and Leiter capture that whimsical beauty. rather like Pina Bausch, my favourite philosopher of art ;-)

Considering he was of Polish parental orgin, that excellence in French is even the more remarkable.

Sadly, I wouldn't have the ability to recognize his gift in French through virtue of my own capablilty: I just used to make it through PHOTO with a struggle!

Ironically, just heard on the news that a batch of "usual suspects" Brit schools has still failed to reach improved standards. It's an intractable situation because I don't think it depends on throwing money at it. Seems to me it's about existing societal mindsets, lack of belief or aspiration, which is all quite understandable when you find yourself in grim surroundings and your peers seem exactly the same as you might be. The fear of standing out, of being different or, worse, teacher's pet if you try to do well is pretty powerful a disincentive. Tall poppies. God knows what the solution might be or, in fact, if there can be one. Heysoos, one was lucky in life.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 07:49:33 AM »

yep, I used to chat a bit with a developmental psychologist... we wrote some dubious papers about the influence of genes on chronic depression, but he had a rather clear view of things. "Peer pressure is by far the most important factor in forming behaviours and attitudes." Parents and teachers are secondary for most children, and if you happen to draw the lottery of disinterested parents in a bad area with teachers who are hanging on for survival... prospects are grim. How an under-performing school is supposed to attract outstanding teachers to push against the trend is a bit of a mystery...

Michael Marmot has written some interesting reports and claims that some schools can turn things around, he's worth a read if you've got the time.
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Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 02:17:59 PM »

yep, I used to chat a bit with a developmental psychologist... we wrote some dubious papers about the influence of genes on chronic depression, but he had a rather clear view of things. "Peer pressure is by far the most important factor in forming behaviours and attitudes." Parents and teachers are secondary for most children, and if you happen to draw the lottery of disinterested parents in a bad area with teachers who are hanging on for survival... prospects are grim. How an under-performing school is supposed to attract outstanding teachers to push against the trend is a bit of a mystery...

Michael Marmot has written some interesting reports and claims that some schools can turn things around, he's worth a read if you've got the time.

There's another thing arising from your post: how does one tell the difference between depression - possibly chronic - and just simple, long-term unhappiness?

I used to throw this around with my wife, discussing family members, all gone, unfortunately, and I posited the notion that life consists of a straight-line datum, with the above moments denoting joy and the below points unhappiness. In other words, the datum, which I took to represent one person's normality, is neither one extreme nor the other: a simple, basic state of just being, well, in a normal frame of mind, neither up nor down

Essential to the above, the belief that different folks exist on very different datum lines, with the measure of joy or unhappiness being on very different levels across the board.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 05:15:17 AM »

In our case, we had data collected every 7 years from childhood through to early adulthood. So our working definition was a strong score on what might be called "sadness" that was present in a high proportion of time points (>=3 of 4??). So if you are continually sad at that age, it probably is depression of some sort... it's a bit early for an existential crisis :)
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Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 07:48:56 AM »

In our case, we had data collected every 7 years from childhood through to early adulthood. So our working definition was a strong score on what might be called "sadness" that was present in a high proportion of time points (>=3 of 4??). So if you are continually sad at that age, it probably is depression of some sort... it's a bit early for an existential crisis :)

Graham, have you watched the Sopranos series? I'm doing that for the first time, so I find myself right at the beginning of it all, with no idea (don't anyone ruin it!) how it pans out later on; the main character spends a lot of time in front of a rather fetching shrink. That said, one or two of the things that she says do make a lot of sense - in my own experience - so maybe there's more to the science than its art! Troubling to see the old mother and "retirement" homes... know too much about that myself. But what the hell is a better solution, or is the concept of an acceptable all-round solution just a negation of responsibility, or ability to cope? Why must we age and drift away... ?

Like so much in life, always more questions and doubts than positive answers. Or, is that just depression, too?

:-)

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2017, 04:33:33 AM »

There is lots of over-lap between sadness, depression and being connected to reality :D

My friend was a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist, and he had a few issues with therapists who set out to "cure" people of normality:
"Your dog has just been run over, of course you're sad. You're supposed to be. Why would you want someone to "cure" you of that?"

Maybe Mr Soprano was cheered up just by sitting in a room with the fetching shrink ? There is certainly something for the idea of being able to talk to someone you trust not to make judgements, and who will take note of the contradictions in what you say... how much that depends on Freud's theory is another question.

I watched only one complete episode of The Sopranos, I think. The opening sequence is indeed magical, but the violence in the central character was too much for me... maybe someone enamoured of Jan Saudek would relate better (or worse, Laurent Benaim, who a rather fetching aquaintance admires and has posed for. He seems determined to provide a catalogue of actions of self-detestation).

The shrink was not seen in that episode...
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Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2017, 07:29:55 AM »

There is lots of over-lap between sadness, depression and being connected to reality :D

My friend was a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist, and he had a few issues with therapists who set out to "cure" people of normality:
"Your dog has just been run over, of course you're sad. You're supposed to be. Why would you want someone to "cure" you of that?"

Maybe Mr Soprano was cheered up just by sitting in a room with the fetching shrink ? There is certainly something for the idea of being able to talk to someone you trust not to make judgements, and who will take note of the contradictions in what you say... how much that depends on Freud's theory is another question.

I watched only one complete episode of The Sopranos, I think. The opening sequence is indeed magical, but the violence in the central character was too much for me... maybe someone enamoured of Jan Saudek would relate better (or worse, Laurent Benaim, who a rather fetching aquaintance admires and has posed for. He seems determined to provide a catalogue of actions of self-detestation).

The shrink was not seen in that episode...


Thinking about the place of the beautiful shrink with glasses (thus proving and possibly disproving another old adage at the same time - who knows how the relationship develops in further episodes!) puts me in mind of Albert Watson's Las Vegas muse, Breaunna: a dominatrix, she does not, apparently, actually have sex with clients; they pay her just to be there - more or less. So is a shrink a bona fide sex worker, too?

Like I said before, more questions than answers. That's a problem with the curious mind: it gives itself nerves.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2017, 08:14:44 AM »

Breaunna: a dominatrix, she does not, apparently, actually have sex with clients; they pay her just to be there - more or less. So is a shrink a bona fide sex worker, too?


A sex-worker friend explained to me the concept of "financial dominatrix"... her job is to demand presents from the client. They may rarely or never see each other, the demands are made by email. The art is to control the frequency and size of the demands: sufficient to cause some small anxiety but not so much as to do actual damage to the finances of the client. Presumably there is a sort of... release... achieved by overcoming the anxiety and sending the gift.

David Attenborough should do a documentary on some of this stuff :)

As for the shrink, the real question is whether her services are reimbursed by Tony's health insurance.
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Telecaster

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2017, 03:18:28 PM »

I won't spoil The Sopranos. Only saw a couple episodes but my friends Jeanne & Susan were ardent watchers so I heard all about it. It's the kind of show I can admire for the talent & skill involved without actually liking. Breaking Bad is another in the same vein.

Attenborough should relocate to the southern US if he wants to really dig into whackadoodle sexuality.  :D

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2017, 04:58:50 PM »

I won't spoil The Sopranos. Only saw a couple episodes but my friends Jeanne & Susan were ardent watchers so I heard all about it. It's the kind of show I can admire for the talent & skill involved without actually liking. Breaking Bad is another in the same vein.

Attenborough should relocate to the southern US if he wants to really dig into whackadoodle sexuality.  :D

-Dave-

I thought Cat on a hot tin roof sort of went there, but old movies weren't going to explore too closely... Hays Office and all that... Playboy also had to deal with a variety of religious leagues of decency, too.

Isn't it a little ironic (or a balancing trick of nature) that places that produce so much hard porn also have the opposite knee-jerk built into the system.

Yeah, it would be really illuminating if an Attenborough series could be made around that; great photography out of BBC Bristol (no pun intended). But I think that, in his nineties, the excitement would kill him.

:-)

Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2017, 05:04:31 PM »

A sex-worker friend explained to me the concept of "financial dominatrix"... her job is to demand presents from the client. They may rarely or never see each other, the demands are made by email. The art is to control the frequency and size of the demands: sufficient to cause some small anxiety but not so much as to do actual damage to the finances of the client. Presumably there is a sort of... release... achieved by overcoming the anxiety and sending the gift.

David Attenborough should do a documentary on some of this stuff :)

As for the shrink, the real question is whether her services are reimbursed by Tony's health insurance.


I never knew. I always imagined you got to see the person you were paying. Crazy.

:-)

Telecaster

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2017, 10:03:18 PM »

Isn't it a little ironic (or a balancing trick of nature) that places that produce so much hard porn also have the opposite knee-jerk built into the system.

I imagine the two extremes feed each other. Repression doesn't really repress…it just pushes whatever you're trying to squelch towards another outlet. In this case IMO it's particularly perverse because the "whatever" is itself a healthy & natural thing. But because some group of misanthropes, who ended up having considerable social & political clout, decided millennia ago in the midst of an outbreak of End-Times Fever that it was neither healthy nor natural, we now have what we have. The Puritan/prudery legacy lingers on, likely sustained in part by the distortions it created in the first place.

-Dave-
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JNB_Rare

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2017, 11:36:05 PM »

In the 1970's there was a book published called "A Sexual Profile of Men in Power" which purported to be a somewhat scholarly work (well it was written by a PhD and and MD). I read it because I got a damaged copy for free. Quite the stories! Like the high-level judge who hired a woman to hide under his desk and stick pins in his scrotum while he tried to conduct business and have telephone conversations above.

Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2017, 05:17:30 AM »

In the 1970's there was a book published called "A Sexual Profile of Men in Power" which purported to be a somewhat scholarly work (well it was written by a PhD and and MD). I read it because I got a damaged copy for free. Quite the stories! Like the high-level judge who hired a woman to hide under his desk and stick pins in his scrotum while he tried to conduct business and have telephone conversations above.

No wonder his wife thought he was being a little sharp on the 'phone!

Rob

Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2018, 01:50:55 PM »

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