February 25, 2016


The iconic fashion and photography of Antonionni's 1966 Blow Up was featured in an exhibit at the Albertina in Vienna a couple of years ago. Looking again at images from the film, and by photographer David Bailey- an inspiration for David Hemmings' character, I'm struck by the film's interesting cocktail of alienation, ambivalent sexuality, and mystery. The film is often celebrated for its depiction of a mid-1960s London studio, fashion, and for its brief coverage of a Page-Beck era Yardbirds. But it also remains an intriguing who-done-it, if you will, as Hemmings obsessively examines his snaps from an afternoon stroll and discovers it was no walk in the park! The movie also starred Vanessa Redgrave  Sarah Miles, jane Birkin, Veruschka von Lehndorff (Casino Royale), John Castle (The Prisoner, The New Avengers), Julian Chagrin (The Avengers), and TV spy regular Peter Bowles (The Avengers, The Prisoner, The Saint, The Baron, Danger Man, Adam Adamant Lives!, Department S). More exhibit info and commentary here. Below: images associated with the film and production. Note: Tazio Secchiaroli's famous still used for the movie's promotional materials and David Bailey's rare portrait of Beatles manager Brian Epstein (included in the exhibit). Enjoy!

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