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Rant

dudler

Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Rant

21 Mar 2021 5:10AM   Views : 438 Unique : 274

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I used to rant a lot, but Iíve been working on it. When I was young, my temper was inflammable, and I vented it far too often on people who didnít deserve it. Itís been part of growing up (a process that I know is still incomplete at 67) to control it and be kinder, and itís taken a lot of work.

So these days, I try not to rant: I know Iím physically quite big, and have a loud voice, combined with the inestimable advantages of being white, male and middle-class English. I am under few illusions about the advantages this gives me in Ė say Ė talking to the police compared with Shafiq or Barrington or Lexi, who all live in the same town. Ranting is taking advantage when lifeís dealt you a decent hand: itís seen as potentially criminal if you havenít got any aces or trumps.

So if Iím actually going to rant, to undo all the safety catches (except the ones preventing me using certain technical audit terminology, which non-auditors may perceive as swearing), I need to have a fictional subject, or victim. And Iíve chosen Thomas. I despise him, and not only because he was having fun in Swinging Sixties London while I was being a provincial teenager. Mainly, itís because he did just about everything he could to ruin my reputation and those of my friends. Because Thomas was a conniving, egotistical exploitative little spawn of the devil, and a professional photographer.

If you havenít seen Michelangelo Antonioniís Blow Up, you wonít know the obnoxious misogynist. You wonít have seen his inappropriate antics as he works his way through assistants, friends, hangers-on and (particularly) models feeding curiosity, ego, and a desire to humiliate and embarrass as many people as possible. A brief look at the poster that depicts Thomas sitting astride a model lying on the floor suggests that he wouldnít know what Ďinappropriateí means if it smacked him about the face with a wet fish.

Thomas incorporates all the worst features of every photographer who isnít actually cruising for a criminal record: I certainly wouldnít suggest a model work under his guidance or body weight, and Iíd hate to share a studio or a coffee with him. It is almost certainly not coincidence that Andy Hamilton invented a character called Thomas for his radio series Old Harryís Game Ė the most despicable human being ever.
The critics will tell you that Blow Up explores the inherently alienating qualities of our media, or that itís a hypnotic conjuring act. I wonít deny either, but I will suggest that Thomas alienates every non-photographer and suggests that our (photographers) skill lies in hypnotising innocent young women.

Itís a brilliant film, with an intriguing story in there somewhere. Every photographer who works with models should view it as a training exercise in how not to behave Ė even Thomasís brilliant shots of homeless men in a hostel (actually taken, I read somewhere, but canít confirm, by Don McCullin) are destined to be filler in a pop-art book. David Hemmings played him brilliantly, with the arrogance of the young, rich and irresponsible, a rock star with cameras.

But Thomas is not a nice personÖ

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Comments

dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2064 England
21 Mar 2021 5:11AM
How to illustrate without breaking copyright or insulting someone? A drain cover and a self-portrait will probably have to do...
AltImages Avatar
AltImages 3 4
21 Mar 2021 6:01AM
John, when you wrote "Every photographer who works with models should view it as a training exercise in how not to behave" I would be inclined to say that anyone who needs training in how not to behave, probably shouldn't be working with models anyway! That caused me to recall that almost all my references on Purpleport tend to refer to me as: considerate, a gentleman, good egg, etc. But that should be a given. Maybe my models are pleasantly surprised!
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2064 England
21 Mar 2021 6:22AM
Laughing, Paul...

Should I have said 'on behaviours to avoid'? That's certainly what I meant. I, also, treasure references that use the word 'gentleman'!
AltImages Avatar
AltImages 3 4
21 Mar 2021 6:46AM
There again John, my other half bought me a pair of socks that bear the inscription "Trust me I'm a photographer." Maybe she thought that if any models got close enough to read my socks, they might be in need of some reassurance. Lol
mistere Avatar
mistere Plus
10 38 8 England
21 Mar 2021 11:41AM
Was that a Rant or a review? SmileSmile Absolutely agree with you about the Character, and he was played brilliantly by David Hemmings. So well that
I took an instant dislike to him in any other film he appeared in. I've heard, and I'm sure you have as well, plenty of stories from models about
photographers acting inappropriately or saying things that they really shouldn't. It really annoys me.
Paul's right, "anyone who needs training in how not to behave, probably shouldn't be working with models" or anybody else for that matter. It's
not just models, or women who have to put up with obnoxious individuals. There was a "Thomas" at the last place I worked. I'll tell you about the
deleted, deleted, deleted next time i see you.
And like you, I treasure references that use the word 'gentleman'!, and biscuits SmileSmile
PaulCox Avatar
21 Mar 2021 12:18PM
The film was "Blowup" I assume, and he wasn't much better in "Barbarella" they are the only films that I saw David Hemming in. I think that everyone needs a rant now and again, it helps to clear the head. Paul.
AltImages Avatar
AltImages 3 4
21 Mar 2021 1:18PM

Quote:... I'm sure you have as well, plenty of stories from models about
photographers acting inappropriately or saying things that they really shouldn't.



It's not just photographers. OK there can be banter during shoots. But on three occasions (out of around 1000 models I've shot with) there have been three occasions where models have acted way beyond inappropriately, to the extent that if roles were reversed I'd have expected the police to have been involved. But instead I just didn't leave a reference.
cooky Avatar
cooky Plus
19 7 11 United Kingdom
21 Mar 2021 5:40PM
Well I'm glad you have got all of that off your chests...what a relief!

Didn't like the film but remember it was a little unusual and arty as a lot of 60s films were. Somewhat pretentious and a degree in psychology needed to understand them.

I did really enjoy Twisted Nerve. Nothing to do with Blow Up or model photography and only connecting factor was that Hywel Bennett and David Hemmings shared the same eyebrows.

David Hemmings Zero Point whereas Terence Stamp...different league!



JuBarney Avatar
JuBarney Plus
12 36 7 United Kingdom
21 Mar 2021 7:14PM
A jolly smart drain cover. (All went well this morning thanks)
pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 451
22 Mar 2021 3:11AM
I remember Blow Up and Blow Out. Vaguely.
Anyone seen City of God or Hard Candy?
philtaylorphoto Avatar
philtaylorphoto 22 334 2
22 Mar 2021 12:25PM
philtaylorphoto Avatar
philtaylorphoto 22 334 2
22 Mar 2021 12:25PM
Jennings went on to direct the A Team.
cooky Avatar
cooky Plus
19 7 11 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2021 12:40PM
Brilliant Phil - Harry Enfield summed the 60s up in a nutshell! SmileSmileSmile
philtaylorphoto Avatar
philtaylorphoto 22 334 2
22 Mar 2021 12:49PM
Jennings was very different from Hemmings of course, spellcheck thing it knew best..
philtaylorphoto Avatar
philtaylorphoto 22 334 2
23 Mar 2021 8:48AM
I remember 'glamour night' at local adult ed in the 70s, not nudies though. There's still a thought in my mind about amateur glamour nights at the camera club. You still see this stuff in camera club exhibitions.
https://youtu.be/qukJj9xQwzc
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