Hollywood In Kodachrome and the vessels of dreams…
The book Hollywood in Kodachrome captures a point in time when film stars were presented as existing in an almost otherly human, elsewhere atmosphere than day-to-day folk (suitably, one chapter is titled When Godesses Roamed The Earth).
Here the use of a particular film stock presents them in surreal, saturated colour (reflecting the use of vivd, sometimes beyond real Technicolor in the cinema).
There is an almost surreal element to them and their composition; these are images from a grown-ups never-never land of flowing white satin gowns and impossible glamour.
Of more recent photographers, who would I compare them with? Well, if Pierre et Gilles were to meet David Lachapelle in an imagined 1940s Hollywood dreamland, well, that may well be heading in the general direction.
Although they are taken by a variety of photographers – George Hurrell, Clarence Sinclair Bull, John Engestead, Paul Hesse, Ernest Bachrach, Bernard of Hollywood, Robert Coburn, Ray Jones, Bud Fraker, Frank Powolny and Eugene Robert Richee amongst others – there seems to be a uniformity of vision to them and the book appears nearer to a fine art photography monograph than a collection of commercial photography taken from a variety of sources.
Quite frank lovely stuff. But a glance at one or a few of the photographs is a seductive invite or welcome to another world.
Along which lines, from the book itself / Arthur Miller:
“Glamour, that transhuman aura or power to attract imitation, is a kind of vessel into which dreams are poured… A beautiful woman can turn heads but real glamour has a deeper pull…”