I have always been a bit of a reluctant Dustin Hoffman fan. I know he is a good actor, but at the same time there is something about him, and maybe just slightly off about some of his performances that have caused me to hold back in my applause. I think my favorite Hoffman outing in film was Kramer Vs Kramer, a role in which I felt he hit every note right on key.
Emma Thompson on the other hand is an actress whose work always elevates the material. Although Love Actually remains a favorite film to pull out at Christmas, no matter how many times I watch, Emma's power as an actress guts me every time I see break down in her bedroom to Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now.
With then wife Anne Byrne, Cannes Film Festival 1975
I have known of Last Chance Harvey for awhile, but for some reason there was nothing about it that actually drew me towards it. Yes, it had Emma and Dustin, but the ad and promotion for the film did little to excite me which actually made my viewing last week as that more special. I finally recorded it on my DVR and Last Chance Harvey ended up being one the most enjoyable films I have seen in awhile. Emma was great as usual, but Dustin really tore my heart out, especially in a scene at his daughters wedding rehearsal. (you'll know it when you see it) This is an adult drama, meaning no car chases, no big special effects or jumping out of planes. A beautiful small character drama set in London about two people, a wedding and a man finally becoming a father. If like me, you skipped by this flick, I highly recommend giving it a go.
Whenever I profile the work of msbimages Michal Boothe I get reactions. People relate and connect with Michal's work for many reasons. Firstly, I think the minimalist aesthetic is refreshing to many. There are so many artists today whose work relies more on deflection and camouflage as it does actually capturing what is in front of them. Between editing and penis morphing, it is hard to know if what your looking at is actually a man and model, or just a digital manipulation of what someone thinks we want to see.
Secondly, Michal's stated goal is to document that fleeting ephemera of youth and innocence, bloom and promise while at the same time mourns their inevitable passing. The models Michal photographs are men without a doubt, but ones just entering this phase of their lives and his images cause us all to reflect back to those moments in our lives when all things seemed possible and the burden's and sadness of life had yet to make their way into their consciousness. This way of being, this way of thinking is some spend years trying to return and tap into.
Finally, Michal instinctively knows how to photograph the male form. It is always easy to spot a image where the only thing on the mind of the image taker is a specific body part or a specific look. Michal's images beautifully celebrate more than just the shallow and stereotypical parts we are supposed to salivate over, but everything we actually love and lust about the male body. Distinctive facial features, the penetrating gaze and color of an eye, slightly too large, yet wildly sexy ears, the texture and smoothness of a head of hair, lips, and the jaw line, the smoothness and tone of skin, nipples, freckles and every other line, bump, muscle and nuance which makes up not just a body, but the person within.
After my September piece on Michal's work with Phil (Delft Blue)I received several e-mails requesting I post more from the series. Unfortunately I posted all the images there were of Phil, but Michal sent on another set, this time of Steven and the images hold a special place for the Dallas photographer. For starters, the images of Steven were the only ones Michal was able to salvage from a 2010 burglary that took his hard-drive and a whole year of his work. Secondly... the images came about because of a dare.
'I had the honor and pleasure to meet one of the photographers on MM whose work makes me tremble. I make images and he makes art. His name is Manuel and I got the opportunity to spend several hours with him on a trip I made to San Francisco and we talked about nothing but photography. It was an amazing afternoon for me. He dared me to see if I could make images of a clothed model that had the same minimalism and spareness as my nudes. I accepted his dare on the condition that I could find the right model. And when I posted the images of Steven, I got a nice message from Manuel congratulating me.'
'Lastly, I found Steven on MM and knew he was the right guy. I grew up in a very small ranching/farming town and went to high school with both working and rodeo cowboys. They were the models of manhood I tried to but knew I never could emulate. Steven epitomized that period of my life and the crushes I had during that time. He is a rodeo cowboy. One doesn't have a belt buckle like that unless one has won it.'