Why Are We Here?
Saturday, March 21, 2015
|Christopher Staats, Shelina Kent, Gary Taylor, David Kent and Susanne Tabata washing her hands|
My days of going to loud establishments, even when the bands
playing are extremely good, are over.
I picked up Susanne Tabata at her home and we rendezvoused
on Commercial Drive. We were greeted by the indomitable shark
(like a shark he can never sit still) Gary Taylor
who confessed to me, “I have
a short attention span.” With us at the table were brother and sister Shelina
and David Kent. The former was a luminous dancer in the 70s and early 80s, the
latter a renowned anaesthesiologist
who works and teaches in Alberta.
We were served a sumptuous assortment of Falconetti sausages
with dipping sauce. They had red wine and I abstained.
During the whole evening (not a very long one) we kept voicing
this question, “Why are we here?” The answers were varied. But fun was had and
it was one of those moments that I savour as a photographer in meeting a former
subject after not having seen her (Shelina) for 35 years.
We ran into the seasonal Santa Claus and sometime Colonel
Sanders but very good-photographer-most-of-the-time, Wayne Wiens. I confessed
to the Filipino father of the daughter (as Taylor put it) who (the daughter of
the father) was the lead singer of a good band that my nickname was Supot. The
father of the daughter roared with laughter.
To cement an evening of fun I summoned Falconetti’s manager
Christopher Staats to clear the women’s bathroom so I could take my group
As I looked at the smiling faces of my companions I had to
point out that it was wonderful that we were all alive.
Why were we there?
Anne & Don't Call Me Annie - The Cop's Daughter
Friday, March 20, 2015
On April 8, my Rosemary and I are attending the opening
performance of Aaron Bushkowsky’s play Farewell My Lovely
which is an adaptation of
Raymond Chandler’s 1940 noir novel. It will be at the Arts Club Theatre’s
Granville Island Stage.
Ever since my mother and father took me to see noir films
from the 40s in Buenos Aires I have been fascinated will all things noir.
Around 1983 as I wrote here
I bought a worthless, red
leatherette collection of the novels of Raymond Chandler. I have read all at
least twice and my favourite, Playback
many more times.
Through the years I have attempted with my camera to take
photographs in the
spirit of the novels
of Chandler and Dashiell Hammett
|Mrs. Merwin Lockridge Grayle - Illust. Paul J. Crompton|
When I received, some months back, my little Arts Club
Theatre promotion card announcing the opening (after a successful run in
Calgary) of Bushkowsky’s Farewell My Lovely I got very excited.
My excitement went beyond expectation when I found out that
actress (sorry not actor and I am sure that Marlowe would agree) Emma Slipp was
playing Anne Riordan. In the novel she is not the flashy blonde femme fatale
but the kind of woman that Marlowe almost falls for.
I wrote to Slipp suggesting that we might shoot for fun with
the theme that she plays Anne Riordan.
I took my photographs yesterday ably assisted by makeup
man Ghassan Shanti. I am extremely happy with the results.
When I first photographed Slipp last year for the Georgia
Straight’s Fall Arts Preview, she had lustrous black and wavy hair. I was
surprised (and ever so slightly disappointed) that the folks in charge of
making the play did not suggest she dye her hair red as Anne Riordan is
definitely a redhead in the novel.
To prepare for the session I took our from Limelight Video
(if there is another copy of this film anywhere else in town I don’t know about
it) the 1975 Dick richards colour Farewell My Lovely
with Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling
(the only woman I would leave my wife for), that favourite Canadian actor John
Ireland, Harry Dean Stanton and a very young Sylvester Stallone.
The film is extremely good and I don’t care if people say
Mitchum is too old to play Marlowe. They are simply out to lunch. But the film
was shocking in that Anne Riordan was eliminated!
I also prepared for the session by re-reading Farewell My
Lovely with stickies. I placed stickies whenever Riordan appeared. For a couple
of blogs here and here I used these quotes.
But I want to stop all this and simply run many of the
pictures I took.
For the session I used a Mamiya RB-67 Pro-SD with a 140mm
lens and with two backs one loaded with Ilford F-P4 Plus and the other with the
long discontinued (but available in my fridge) Kodak Technical Pan. Both are b+w
films. On a venerable circa 1960 Asahi Pentax 35mm camera with a 55mm f-2 lens
I used Fujicolour 800 ISO colour negative film. When I scan this film which I
exposed to my flash’s tungsten lights (3200 Kelvin) and did not use the flash
the results will mimic the lurid Technicolor of the 1975 film. I also used my
digital Fuji X-E1. The pictures in this blog are only from that camera.
For most of the photographs I used three lights (with
flash and tungsten modeling lights). One was a circular, focusing spotlight and
the other two were equipped with grids to narrow the beams dramatically. If you
note in some of the pictures you will find that there are two catchlights in
Slipp’s eyes. One is from the spotlight (high above to cast that shadow under
her nose). The other is called a kicker and it fills in slightly the deep
shadow under Slipp’s face on her neck. Sometimes I omitted the spotlight (aimed
it at her hat) and used only the kicker light on her face. The ones with the
netting in front of her face were shot like that.
In between the long session we had good loose tea and
Rosemary’s store-bought (Safeway!) lemon cake.
You Didn't Have To Be Rough
Thursday, March 19, 2015
|Emma Slipp as Anne Riordan - Makeup - Ghassan Shanti - March 18 2015|