Ellen Bry - Olympic PheromonesFriday, February 12, 2010
I don’t want to be an aguafiestas with these 2010 Olympics. Perhaps I will wake up in a few days to experience that spirit our Vancouver Sun writes about. I certainly don’t want to emulate the spirit of that man that visits Rick Cluff’s Early Edition on CBC Radio 1 on Mondays. The man in question has trivialized and cheapened Bill Vander Zalm’s famous use of the word fantastic. That indefatigably tedious man should be pushed down the Olympic ski jump at Whistler. Fantastic! I have a feeling that Cluff would help me push. But I will stop here before I am accused of ranting.
I don’t want to be an Olympic party pooper. Even I, hope that Canada, my adopted country, reaches the gold medal final for men’s hockey. Of the other sports I will pass, and I will diverge to a holding pattern around pleasant matters. One that I re-discovered by accident last night was a file called Bry, Ellen.
I met Bree only once in 1987 in Whistler. I had gone there with Les Wiseman to report for Vancouver Magazine the goings on of a celebrity ski-a-thon. I don’t think that Wiseman ever did write two lines on any of the 2 or 3 ski-a-thons we attended. He found ways of convincing our editor, Malcolm Parry that this was a worthy pursuit and that we should go. The real reason was that the Whistler organizers promised the presence of Brooke Shields. Wiseman had a thing for her. Shields never did show up so we nursed single malt Scotch and sodas and photographed and interviewed as many other “celebrities” we could find. At the time Wiseman had a column for TV Guide. I guess some of what he wrote found a home there. In my case the one big break was a TV Guide cover of that other St. Elsewhere star, Bruce Greenwood.
I have very little memory of what transpired after that. Wiseman says Bry invited us to a party up in the mountain yet the picture here has her in a very nice low cut dress.
What I do remember is that when she faced my camera (At the time I had the silly notion of using Hollywood lighting which made it difficult for her to move. I was also kind of new at it and had little knowledge of what I was doing.) she was with me and with nobody else. I had a sense of a woman who was spraying me with either real pheromones or she was projecting some mental version of them straight into my brain. I don’t think I have ever felt quite like that and I have photographed my fair share of women clothed and otherwise. I felt seduced and attracted to her. I had a similar experience, but not as pleasantly intense, when I photographed German actress Barbara Sukowa.
Today, instead of lingering about the Olympics I will think of Bry and again feel lucky that I am a photographer and not a plumber.