Tableaux Vivants 2: Film Stills and Contemporary Photography

Steven Jacobs

in Framing Pictures

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640171
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670901 | DOI:
Tableaux Vivants 2: Film Stills and Contemporary Photography

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Chapter five reconceptualizes the notion of the tableau vivant by focusing on some of the encounters between film and photography, which are also marked by a fascination for bodies arrested in time. Particularly examining the film still of classical Hollywood films, this chapter traces the historical development of this photographic genre through an investigation of the statements made by ‘still men’ in trade journals throughout the 1930s and 1940s. In addition, this chapter discusses the aesthetics of the film still, which implies a specific kind of light, focus, narrative, temporality and the instantaneous. Finally, it investigates how these elements were taken up by prominent art photographers such as Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall, who have appropriated ‘cinematic’ formulas in their works since the 1970s, as well as by contemporary video artists who developed the ‘still film.’

Keywords: Film Still; Photogram; Publicity Still; Set Photograph; Classical Hollywood; International Photographer (journal); Cindy Sherman; Jeff Wall; Film and Photography

Chapter.  12109 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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