August 23, 2013


Every filmmaker hopes their viewers will be left with indelible images, which will play over and over in the mind like a narrative transfusion. The great cinematographers achieve this gift of imagination and the truly great photographers even define the sensibilities of their time. Gilbert Taylor was such an artist. Starting his career in the late 1940s, he went on to shoot the quintessential movie images of the 1960s and 1970s. Taylor lensed some of the most iconic projects from Swinging London, including The Beatles in A Hard Day's Night, Peter Sellers in Dr Strangelove, Polanski's Repulsion, and Emma Peel's heartbreaking departure in The Avengers. His work with Dick Lester and The Beatles provided a dynamic document of the band in motion and captured their trendsetting vibe with cutting-edge, stylish photography. Gilbert was the motion picture equivalent to visionaries like Robert Freeman, Richard Avedon, Dezo Hoffman, and David Bailey. His footage serves as a kind of cultural Rosetta Stone of cool for future generations. Here is the opening sequence of A Hard Day's Night:

Gilbert Taylor died today at the age of 99. Must-see list: Dr. Strangelove (1964), A Hard Day's Night (1964), Repulsion (1965), The Baron (13 episodes 1966-1967), The Avengers (8 episodes/1966-1968), Department S (1969), Macbeth (1971), Frenzy (1972), The Omen (1976), Star Wars (1977), Dracula (1979).

Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! Jason Whiton, creator of Spy Vibe, has written a sixties thriller inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at his website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns.

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