Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Brigitte Lacombe

Brigitte Lacombe, writes stern-Artdirector Johannes Erler, "visualises something that you seldom see: the creative element, the moments when actors become characters, and rooms full of spotlights and cameras become scenes." This is nicely put yet even more convincing is his description of her work as "photographic cinema at its very best."
Copyright @ Brigitte Lacombe

The above scene is from Anthony Mingella's film version of Patricia Highsmith's novel "The Talented Mr. Ripley" which was nominated for five Oscars in 2000. Other scenes in this tome stem from Martin Scorcese's "Gangs of New York", Mike Nichols' "Charlie Wilson's War", Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Bastards", Fellini's "Casanova", Alan J. Pakula's "All the President's Men",  Robert Benton's "Kramer vs. Kramer", Wes Anderson's "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou", Simon Curts' "My Week with Marilyn", and, the one below, from Sofia Coppola's "Marie Anoinette" 
Copyright @ Brigitte Lacombe

Looking at these photographs often felt like being invited behind the scenes: I was allowed to see how a film was made. Brigitte Lacombe makes one really see and sense that. She does not reveal a hidden world, she instead offers her version of human beings who happen to earn their living by way of acting.

Lacombe's pictures, writes Jochen Siemens, "are free of any exclamatory gestures. They are quite literally workshop reports, pictures devoid of effects. Lacombe is economical in her use of zoom or wide-angle and is nearly always content with the available light. Her unagiated technique follows people's desire to 'see anyone who has done some extraordinary work or, if that is impossible, at least to hear from others what he looks like', as Arthur Schopenhauer once wrote with respect to the invention of photography."
stern Fotografie 73 includes Talent Booklet 06 featuring Tala Hadid's photos of a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and a cabaret brothel in New York. I felt immediately drawn to her thoughtfully composed pics that to me radiated warmth and empathy for the people portrayed.

Brigitte Lacombe
stern Fotografie Nr 73
PS: Some time ago, I was made aware of a magazine cover that showed the four female members of the Swiss Federal Council photographed by Brigitte Lacombe - the four ladies in their late forties, fifties were presented like they were about to go to a party where the motto was: look as youthfully and flashy as possible. My reaction? I burst out laughing. Here's the link.

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