Looking at a 1930 photograph of Joan Crawford by George Hurrell, the Independent‘s Hannah Duguid describes it as “the stuff of fantasy…simply a close-up of her perfectly beautiful face. Crawford’s troubled character is not apparent in these photographs, nor is her battle with alcohol; the ravages of life are painted over with clever lighting and a thick concealer.” Duguid, writing on the occasion of a new exhibit of celebrity photography at Yorkshire’s National Media Museum, traces the progression from the idealized portraits of the studio era to publicity stunts and the rise of the paparazzi. Question: Which is the true opposite of everything represented by that Crawford photo US Magazine‘s reoccuring “Just Like Us!” feature of the famous taking out their garbage, picking a friend up at the airport or getting coffee, or the gallery I stumbled on while looking for “Just Like Us,” entitled “Stars Falling Down”?
Elsewhere, blogger Self-Styled Siren has produced an anecdote from another Joan that’s ever timely, given the recent attention being paid to the upcoming remake of “The Women.” When starring in the first remake of the Cukor film, the 1956 musical “The Opposite Sex,” Joan Collins, in the Crawford role of home-wrecking shopgirl Crystal Allen, took a blow to the face from co-star June Allyson that wasn’t your typical stage slap when the two were filming the dressing room scene: “Any more shooting was out of the question. On each of my cheeks was forming the perfect imprint of a tiny hand! Branded, if not for life, for the two or three days it took for the welts to go down.”
[Photo: George Hurrell’s photograph of Joan Crawford, Hulton Archive/Getty Images, 1930, used without permission]
+ Shooting stars: A dazzling new exhibition explores how Hollywood exploits the power of photography (Independent)
+ Anecdote of the Week (Self-Styled Siren)