2011 marks the 20th anniversary of Woody Allen’s SHADOWS AND FOG, meaning, among other things, that the prolific filmmaker has made 20 films since (actually, he’s made 21, but who’s counting?). In 1989 Allen made the much-loved CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, followed by the slightly less loved ALICE, and then SHADOWS AND FOG, which was, unfortunately, even less of a hit amongst audiences. The early 90s New York Times film critic Vincent Canby actually ended his review with a ridiculous “note of caution: SHADOWS AND FOG operates on its own wavelength. It is different. It should not be anticipated in the manner of other Allen films.”
black and white
Every so often a blog surfaces from the mire that is the blogosphere, a blog brilliant in its clarity of voice and its efficacy at conveying the one simple pleasure it was created to purvey. I’m talking about the seemingly effortless genius that is Black and WTF? Created in 2009, Black and WTF? is chock-full of weird and wonderful gems from the eras of black and white photography. The single commonality all these images share is that taken out of context (assuming they had one to begin with) they make absolutely no sense.
One of Levinstein’s sunbathers. More photos after the text.
How is it that a photographer like Leon Levinstein – a West Virginia boy who moved to New York in 1946 and took some of the most iconic photographs of the city and its inhabitants, a man whose work is compared to and was shown with Edward Steichen, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus and the like – how is it that a talented guy like that worked a day job his whole life and remained relatively obscure while his contemporaries are still known today around the world?
When Jack Radcliffe’s daughter Alison was born, he photographed her the way any loving parent would, which is to say a lot. The difference between Jack and most fathers is that his enthusiasm for his subject didn’t wane as she grew older, and what began as family snap shots turned into a much bigger project.