Sue Lyon - July 10, 1946 – December 26, 2019Thursday, December 26, 2019
|Sue Lyon - Photographs - Bert Stern - Petersens Masters of Contemporary Photography - Photo Illustration - Bert Stern - How to Turn Ideas Into Images|
Sue Lyon, Star of ‘Lolita,’ Is Dead at 73
She was 14 when she was cast in the title role of Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film of the Nabokov novel. It remained her best-known credit. The film was memorably promoted with a photograph taken by Bert Stern in Sag Harbor, N.Y., showing Ms. Lyon in heart-shaped sunglasses sucking on a red lollipop, “despite the fact that neither the sunglasses nor the lollipop appear in the film itself,” as The New York Times noted years later. The trailer worked the tagline, “How did they ever make a movie of ‘Lolita’?”
I have written a few times here , here and here about my inspiration from photographer Bert Stern. There do not seem to be photographers of his ilk in this century. And imagine how on his way to photograph Sue Lyon spotting those sunglasses with hearts somehow defined the film even though they were not present in the film.
Sometime around 2019 I discovered a connection between Edgar Allan Poe and Vladimir Nabokov. I wrote about that here. And then former Vancouver Magazine Associate Editor, Don Stanley showed up at my door with a copy of The Annotated Lolita. All that brought me to the fact that I had photographed an adult Vancouver actress called Corrie Clark who was constantly being cast as a young girl. Her ambition was to someday wear makeup and look her age!
I photographed Clark with the image of Nabokov’s Lolita in my head. She was perfect. She is also here.
While some folks might have read Lolita or seen the Kubrick film, as a photographer both were in my mind. I was particularly aware of this when in 1986 when my two daughters were in their early teens I told my Rosemary that I was going to hire art photographer James Labounty to photograph them. She did not understand. I explained, "I am their father so I would photograph them as little girls. Labounty will see them as women."
This duality is one that obsessed 20th century painter Balthus. Many thought he was a fiend but he explained until he died about wanting to portray in his paintings that moment when a girl becomes a woman.