Take Nothing for Granted, Duffy, Photographer, Gets Book Retrospective

Like many music fans, I knew Duffy's work through the covers he shot for Lodger and Aladdin Sane by David Bowie.

I did not know until Idea Generation Gallery announced their Duffy Exhibit that Duffy was the man behind these classic covers.

I mentioned the London exhibit in Jane Birkin 1965 Pas de Deux and a few days later found out about Duffy (Antique Collector's Club, 2011) the book put together by his son Chris Duffy after his father passed away in 2010.

David Bailey, Terence Donovan and Duffy were dubbed 'The Terrible Trio' by the Sunday Times and 'The Black Trinity' by Norman Parkinson.

They captured the changing moods of the 60's and brought a touch of provocation and fresh blood to British photography.

Path that led to Duffy's 20 intense years in photography was not straighforward.

In 'on getting started' he writes that after having a rough and tumble youth during and after 2nd world war, his creation of a Christmas Card led a teacher to recommend Duffy attends art school.

He went to St Martins School of Art in 1950 to study painting and soon realized that his talent in that field paled in comparison to fellow students Frank Auerbach and Len Deighton.

He moved to fashion department and showed skills at fashion drawing which was his first line of work.

How did this lead to photo shoots. Duffy explains: "I was doing fashion drawings for Harper's Bazaar and I was in the office of the Art Director, a womaon called Gill Varney, and I saw sheets of contact photographs that all looked alike to me, I asked Gill why the photos were all the same, and she explained they were all different. I thought "Gawd this looks dead easy compared to the drawing lark, I'll give this a whiz. Take up photography as an easy way to make money. Just my sort of thing women, gadgets, clothes, I must have a go at it."

Duffy 7 boxer

Duffy, the book is rich in portraits from Alan Freeman (1964) to Patick Mcnee and Pagan Griggs (1961), prime minister Harold Wilson (1966), William Burroughs (1960, 1974), Arthur C. Clarke in Ceylon (1973), Michael Caine (1964) and I could go on (most in black and white). I chose Reggie Kray and grandfather (1964) to illustrate that category.

Advertising was another facet including his contribution to Pirelli calendar.

Duffy Alphasud Car (2)

I picked his 'Alphasud Car' (Henley on Thames, 1974) for the cars and girls department.

As far as music is concerned, besides record covers, the book includes various stars from Black Sabbath (73) to Shadows (61) and Sandy Shaw (65)

During Duffy's 20 intense years spent snapping pictures (late 50's to late 70's), fashion photography was a big part of his work for magazines like French Elle, Queen, Town, Biba, Vogue.

The classy cover of the book (below) was shot for Queen magazine in 1965.

Duffy-Cover-Final (2)

Not sure if the line 'anarchists make better photographers than they do hairdressers' in the book' is Duffy's or by his son.

There is a mischevious quality to his explanation of the Bowie pics.

"I met this pocket genius called Tony DeFries. David Bowie was a client of his, and Tony asked me if I would like to take some pictures of him. He had a scam going, and realized that in order to get the record company to really pay attention, to get them really going, you had to get them up to their neck in debt, which was of course a masterstroke. Couldn't have come to a better con artist than my good self! He set out to make the most expensive record cover he could possibly get RCA to pay for. If it cost them 50 quid-so what? If it cost them five thousand pounds, now they had to sit up and pay attention."

On a softer note, some of his 60's images like white model with mixed race West Indian cricket team for Town magazine fashion shoot in 1963 and portrait of Sammy Davis Jr hugging May Britt in 1960 must have been ahead of their time.

I will let you discover the rest of Duffy's adventures in photography all by yourself.

(* Quotes from liner notes of 'Duffy' published by ACC Editions in 2011, photos used by permission of the publisher, all rights reserved)

Day of Hope with Films from Pixar's La Luna to Dai Sato's Five Numbers, September 11, Japan Society, NY

On September 11, 2011, the Japan Society in New York marks both the 10 year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S and the 6 month anniversary of March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake with a day of hope with films.

The Japan Society is presenting a "one-day festival of animated shorts on September 11, curated by Blue Sky Studios' Justin Leach, highlights include appearances by director Enrico Casarosa presenting Pixar's La Luna and Dai Sato with his latest, Five Numbers! (Norageki!). The day will feature two family-friendly programs followed by two screenings recommended for age thirteen and up, with individual screening tickets and one-day passes available. 50% of all proceedings will go to Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund—all of the films are donated in support of the project."


This will be La Luna NY Premiere and Five Numbers U.S Premiere. 

If you like a rapid fire succession of films, Sector Animauteurs with 18 shorts in 75 minutes (4 to 5:15 PM), is for you.

A few of the 18 bites are food related ones, Caffeine by Danae Diaz and Patricia Luna, Key Lime Pie by Trevor Jimenez and the intriguingly titled Kung Fu Cooking Girls by Jin-Roh.  

Details on Curator from Program Notes:

"Films for Hope is curated by Justin Leach, a 12 year veteran of the animation industry who has worked in on such films as: Bunny, Ice Age, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, The Last Exile, Ghost in the Shell 2.0, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ice Age 3:Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Rio, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (in production), and The Legend of the Leafmen (In production). Justin spent about three years in Japan, working as a CG Creator at Production I.G."

Screenings will run from 1 to 7 PM.

Tickets for each program
$10/$7 Japan Society members, students & seniors

One-day pass
$34/$24 Japan Society members, students & seniors
(Offer available only at Japan Society Box Office or by telephone at (212) 715-1258)

Check Program Page for full line-up of films and showtimes.

Celebrating human spirit for Tokyo Thursdays # 205

Previously: Cidre Japonais, Japanese Cider from Tateshina in Nagano Prefecture

(* Illustration is image from In a Pig’s Eye © 2010 Atsushi Wada / Tokyo University of the Arts, part of Sector Animauteurs segment of festival)

Some Girls Wanna Make Beer, Love of Beer Documentary Premiere, PDX Beer Fest, August 20

Some brewers are not burly guys with beards and overalls.

Women are staking their claim in the micro-breweries field as well

Alison Grayson trails them in The Love of Beer a, documentary on women in the craft beer industry, which will have its World Premiere on August 20 during PDX Beer Week in Portland (Oregon).

"More than two years in the making, the film examines why women, a small segment of the craft beer industry, do what they do from their everyday lives to their struggles in work. It’s not for feminism or equality, it’s for The Love of Beer.

Love of beer

Thanks to Lisa Morrison aka Beer Goddess, author of Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press, 2011) for letting me know about this premiere.

Stories of Heretics in Italy of Warehouses, Langhe Doc Film by Paolo Casalis

A portrait of the changing Italian food (and wine) landscape, documentary Langhe Doc by Paolo Casalis makes its case through the voices of traditionalists and misfits.

In traditionalists corner, Maria Teresa Mascarello (and her father Bartolo Mascarello who died in 2005) who continues to produce wine in the Cellar of Barolo, "As my father did, and my grandfather"...

The misfits: Mauro Musso whoworked in a big supermarket, until he unexpectedly dismissed.
"First as a joke and for a few friends, then always more seriously, Mauro has begun to make homemade “tajarin”, the traditional pasta of Langhe. Today his “House of Tajarin” of which he is the owner and sole employee, produces several types of pasta, containing ingredients of the highest possible quality."

Langhe doc

Synopsis of the movie is:

"Three characters, three stories of "heretics", three food producers who think in a different way to describe the transformation of our Country in what in “Langhe Doc” Giorgio Bocca calls the Italy of warehouses.
We're in Langhe, a unique territory, universally recognized as one of the most beautiful places in Italy, fresh candidate for Unesco World Heritage
but afflicted by uncontrolled economic development, urbanization, overbuilding, abandonment of the less profitable areas.
Those of Maria Theresa, Silvio and Mauro are stories of people who have seen a future they did not like and have refused it. Their challenges are still open, they’re not yet fully met and perhaps they never will: they move in one direction, the world moves in another one, quite the opposite."

Documentary is available on DVD.

Jane Birkin 1965 Pas De Deux Photo, Duffy Exhibit, Idea Generation Gallery, Til August 28

Brigitte Bardot in period costume, Bowie circa Aladdin Sane, John Lennon, Debbie Harry and Michael Caine in 1964 are a few of the captivating images from Duffy: A Visual Record of a Photographic Genius exhibit at Idea Generation Gallery in London.

The childlike innocence of Jane Birkin 1965 pas de deux photo by Duffy (below) is striking. She was 19 then.

Jane_Birkin,_1965 (2)

I take my chances calling her dance step a pas de deux. I am no ballet specialist.

Program notes that:

"Duffy infamously quit photography in 1979 when, at the height of his career, he took the majority of his photographic work into the back garden and set it on fire. Featuring more than 160 images painstakingly rediscovered by Duffy’s son after years of searching through archives and publications around the world, this exhibition has truly risen from the ashes."

“The thing about the photograph is there’s no smell or sound, and in a sense it tells the truth, and yet it is a lie.” - Duffy

Exhibit closes its doors on August 28, 2011...Admission is Free.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 10 - 6pm...Saturday & Sunday: 12 - 5pm

For more on Brian Duffy, visit Duffy Photographer, the official website.

(* Photo of ‘Jane Birkin 1965 © Duffy Archive’, all rights reserved)

Caramels from A to Z live from Le Roux Chocolate Factory

Have you ever wondered where the life of a caramel starts and all the steps it takes before it ends on your tongue?

Here's a Caramels from A to Z video live from Le Roux Chocolate Factory (French with English subtitles).


Everything you wanted to know about Caramels and were afraid to ask.

Young Souls, Dean Chalkley Short Film on Rebirth of Northern Soul

It all goes back to the 60's and the British Mod Scene when Northern Soul (as Wikipedia reminds us) wave brought together fashion, music and dance.

In the 80's, the style had a resurgence.

The movement never died down completely and since 2008 is attracting new fans.

Photographer and video director Dean Chalkley has been spotting the places and people who brought that new spark to Northern Soul.

In collaboration with 125 Magazine, Dean Chalkley is broadcasting Young Souls, the short film he made on Northern Soul's latest wave, to a wider audience.

The movie will also be shown at Vintage Festival (London, July 29-31)

Here's a teaser:


According to Young Souls run free (British Journal of Photography, July 28) a photo exhibit with "22 photographs showing off the young fans' clothes and move" as well as the movie are on display until August 6th at "Youthclub, a new popup gallery just off Carnaby Street at 2.1 Kingly Court, the latest in an ongoing project by youth culture specialists PYMCA"

(* Northern Soul teaser by Dean Chalkley via Vimeo)

Martin Scorcese as Outdoor Cinema Curator at Port Eliot Festival, Cornwall, July 21-24

Books, food, music, film, Port Eliot Festival feeds all our senses down by the water in St Germans, Cornwall.

For its 8th edition, Port Eliot has Martin Scorcese curating its Paradiso Outdoor Cinema. Movies will be "screened from twilight on each evening of the festival in the festival’s Paradiso Cinema, set in gardens created by landscape gardener Humphrey Repton, with a backdrop of a secret estuary of the river Lynher and a railway viaduct designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel."

The food section of the program includes Fifteen Cornwall restaurant; Thomasina Miers – broadcaster, cook and owner of London’s Wahaca Mexican restaurants; Peter Gordon – pioneer of Pacific Rim cooking, author of Fusion; Daniel de la Falaise – Franco-English chef running cookery demo in the Big Kitchen; Chris Sherville – resident chef at Port Eliot, will run fish cooking demos in the Georgian Big Kitchen; Fat Hen – wild food foraging and cooking school in west Cornwall, run by professional forager, ecologist and cook, Caroline Davey...


Music line up keeps it British as far as I can tell.

As for the water, program invites festivalgoers are "to leap into the estuary of the river Lynher – a particularly beautiful part of the site – whenever the mood takes them. All ages are welcome to dive in and enjoy themselves at high tide."

Port Eliot Festival 2011 runs from July 21 to July 24.

Sketch of Mujo, First Documentary on Tohoku in Tsunami's Aftermath to Hit the Screens

Director Koichi Omiya managed to make The Sketch of Mujo, a 75 minutes film on Tohoku in Tsunami's aftermath, in 50 days.

The tight schedule was motivated by his desire to keep memories of what happened fresh in people minds.


Kaori Shoji in First Tohoku documentary captures tsunami aftermath (Japan Times, June 24) notes that "53-year-old filmmaker who was born in Kuji in Tohoku's Iwate Prefecture and spent his childhood moving around in Iwate and Yamagata prefectures, says that this disaster struck him with particular force, partly because the northeast is the land of his birth and largely because his parents still live there."

Kaori Shoji explains 'Mujo' for us:

"Mujō is a Buddhist concept, meaning "transience" or "impermanence." From time immemorial, the Japanese have deployed it to explain tragedies great and small, to alleviate the sadness of separation and death and to remind themselves that after all, this world is but a stepping stone on the path to achieving nirvana."

The movie opened at Auditorium Shibuya in Tokyo on the date marking 100 days since tsunami.

The theater offers some screenings with English subtitles for non-Japanese speakers.

Memories of Tohoku for Tokyo Thursdays # 196

Previously: Adventure Calls, Japanese Albums by Felice Beato, Photographer on Eastern Road

(* some of the links are to mostly Japanese language sites)