jonathan pearlman

jonathan pearlman

FINE ART Photography

GROOVY, BABY...

 

 

This was swinging London, seen through the eyes of a very trendy photographer, models, pop-stars, sycophants and the great film director Michaelangelo Antonioni.

Was Swinging London truly like this? The film was shot  in and around Carnaby Street (of course) and Chelsea (of course) where London truly swang; where the 'in-crowd' hung out, where the cool clubs were. And the cool pubs, and the cool fashion houses. Where the cool warehouse-studios were located where the likes of David Bailey plied their trade.

For us pubescent kids though, the Swinging 60's in London was a foreign country - not too many miles away but a million miles from our reality. But the ripple-effects were as amazing as they were exhilarating. As the decade wore on there was almost a tidal-wave of liberation from the drab and dreary post-war London from whence we were cast. Everything that could be challenged became challengeable. Music, film and theatre banged on the doors of the status quo with us gleefully hanging on to the coat-tails of those knocking the hardest.

So many great films from that era inspired my generation: IF - THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT - WOODSTOCK - EASY RIDER - ZABRISKIE POINT - films borne out the tumultuous decade that was the 60's and ushering in a new decade of hope and peace and love, but a decade that ended (it seemed) with the assassination of John Lennon after 10 years of glam-rock, punk-rock, Nixon and Watergate, the end of the Beatles, the three day week, sideburns and safari suits.

But I digress. Blow-Up, like Coppola's 'The Conversation' which it spawned a decade later, intrigues because it taps into other worlds, of other lives lived beyond our wildest imaginations, that exist on the periphery of our understanding and our experiences. And so, those mysterious forces that might do evil, that may have committed terrible sins then become even more fantastic and mysterious, more intriguing and surreal.

When enlarging a print, our photographer notices something in the bushes located behind his subject. He enlarges his print further and sees a figure, shadowy and menacing. He enlarges the image further and believes he has captured the moment of death, of someone murdered at the instance he took the photograph. A 'who-dunnit' about a murderer who may not exist committing a murder that may not have happened.

Time may not have been kind to this film, but I urge anyone who is interested in what the swinging 60's was all about, who loves photography, who loves murder mysteries, to track this film down. 

 

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