Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pictures by Jeff Bridges.

Pictures by Jeff Bridges. By Jeff Bridges, with a foreword by Peter Bogdanovich. powerHouse Books, 2003. 192pp., numerous illustrations, 12.4 x 9.8". Images from FILE.

"For more than twenty years, on dozens of film sets, Bridges has perfected his own photography, shooting between takes and behind-the-scenes with a Widelux F8 camera. This fascinating, surprisingly candid body of work began as a personal project, as he recorded the arduous, emotionally intense, evanescent work of the film shoot in books that were privately printed and given as gifts to cast and crew. These are not traditional “Hollywood” pictures, but rather—despite the costumes and lighting, the crowds of extras, the stardom of the subjects—pictures of friends at work. Taken together, the pictures act as Bridges’ personal and professional diary, with actors, directors, and crew appearing as coworkers, all equal participants in the job at hand.

With a foreword by Peter Bogdanovich and Jeff Bridges’ hand-written commentary and captions throughout, Pictures promises to be a rare and exciting publishing event, offering a vision of Hollywood that is both intimately human and formally beautiful.

Jeff Bridges’ proceeds from Pictures will be donated to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, a non-profit organization that offers charitable care and support to film-industry workers."

I came across this wonderful book when I happened to catch the Actors Studio with Jeff Bridges the other day. I'm a little bit confused as to how I didn't know about it since I'm a huge fan of Jeff Bridges website, which I visit frequently, as well as FILE magazine - a collection of unexpected photography (not to be confused with this FILE magazine I've written about before), who's showcasing his work.

Anyway I'm so glad I finally found it, and got to learn about the widelux camera - how I would love to own one! (unfortunately no flash though = not so good in the darkness of Sweden).

I especially find this so incredibly intriguing (from the introduction of the book 'Pictures by Jeff Bridges'): "The first time I came across one was in high school. We had been gathered together to take our class photo. The photographer had a Wide-Lux. He explained how it worked. Some kids figured if they ran very quickly, they could beat the panning lens and be in the picture twice. They were right. Years later, I started using this technique to take pictures of actors creating the theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy. The result was someone frowning and smiling at himself - all on one negative."

FILE magazine has some wonderful projects on (including outtakes from 'Pictures by Jeff Bridges') and if you haven't visited the site you really should! If you're interested in Jeff Bridges work outside the movie industry visit his truly wonderful website.


josephine said...

these photographs are great! jeff bridges is such a great actor and so versatile. i hear he's also a musician, too.

Rare Autumn said...

indeed - there's an album called 'be here soon', which i keep meaning to check out (and he is also a painter).

he's one of those actors that are always excellent and always bring something new i think. but i almost enjoy his collective work ( more in a way (this obviously includes the films too though)