Now then—I really do mean to take tomorrow off, as I'm supposed to. (As you can probably tell, I get a little obsessive about staying glued to the computer.) But I'd like to leave you with a link to a film that I think might be perfect for your Saturday.
It goes on for about an hour, so you'll have to budget some time. It's about Brian Duffy, one-third of the "black trinity" of British photographers of the 1960s. (The others were David Bailey, best-known of the three because he was the model for the character played by David Hemmings in Michelangelo Antonioni's film "Blow Up" of 1966, and Terrence Donovan, who took his own life in 1996.) Duffy is perhaps best remembered for his mode of departure: he made a pile of all his prints and negatives and put a match to it, and walked away from photography for decades.
Recently, however, now 75 and in failing health, he returned to photography, and had his first show. The BBC did a documentary about it, and it's now online at his website.
I have to mention, I love the Klemperer story. But it's the creative arc that's revealed through the piece that's really arresting.
At any rate, you can watch for yourself. It's pretty terrific, especially if you have an iconoclastic streak. There's no direct link: to get to it, you have to go to the website > exhibits & links > BBC DOCUMENTARY. You can watch it online or download it.
Bob Stevenson told me about this; thanks, Bob.
[Hopefully temporary] UPDATE: We appear to have whacked their bandwidth, hardly surprising with an hour-long video on a private website. That turns this post into naught but a tease. Sorry. But do keep this in mind, and check back. It's really worth seeing. —Ed.
UPDATE #2: A week later, Chris Duffy writes to say that we did crash their shared server, but the video is now on Vimeo. So, have another go—it should work now.
UPDATE #3: Sad to say Duffy passed away on May 31st, 2010.
Featured Comment by Andy Forbes: "I have been a fan of Duffy since the '60s. Rather than buy photography mags I used to buy the fashion mags that Duffy, Bailey and Donovan contributed to. The documentary style of fashion shoot they used was fascinating and totally different to the accepted style of fashion shoots at the time. There is a wonderful quote by Duffy from the '60s: 'Before 1960 a fashion photographer was tall, thin and camp. But we three are different: short, fat and heterosexual!'
"I was fortunate to be invited to the private viewing of the Duffy exhibition, which features in the documentary, at the Chris Beetles gallery last October. It was a great night and interesting to see how the players, models and fashion editors had weathered, some not so well as others! Bailey was there for a short while and it is obvious he has great respect for his old friend Duffy. The surviving photographs are wonderful—I went to the exhibition four times to drink it all in. The BBC documentary is a bonus and I recorded it when it was broadcast a couple of weeks ago and have watched it several times since and it shows Duffy is still as rebellious now as he was in the '60s.
"Duffy's son Chris is the man really responsible for all of this and has worked tirelessly over the last couple of years or so to bring Duffy back into the public eye and thank God he has, he really deserves his place in the history of photography and the period. Hopefully there is more to come."