As part of the new Blog it Forward mash up, we are asked to post about "what inspires us". Many many things do this for me, so you might think it hard to choose. It wasn't. Without hesitation the single biggest influence for me are Films and the first one that always comes to my mind is the haunting masterpiece Badlands. It was written and directed by Terrence Malick and released in 1973.
Based loosely on the Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate case, who are considered the first American spree killers. It is a compelling story told with careful restraint by Malick and rich imagery from cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. So beautiful is the photography in this film, I have shown it in full to some of my classes.
This is one of my favorite sequences in the film, the imagery combined with Sissy's narration and the incredible score by George Aliceson Tipton. Below an interesting British promotion for it's release, notice the "X" rating.
A few years ago in NYC, I got the opportunity to photograph Sissy Spacek for a magazine. I can honestly say, despite all the famous people I have shot, I have never really been in awe of anyone, till this assignment. She put me quickly at ease though, her own nervousness about being photographed apparent. Then she asked if we had any beer, even though it was a rental studio there just happened to be single can of Budwieser in the fridge. She just had a few sips but it helped her relax. A true Texas girl, she grew up twirling a baton and it was featured in the movie in a scene where she first meets Sheen's character. I brought a baton and she actually twirled it for me, fun images but is the ethereal image below that remains my favorite.
montage & bottom photo © Lara Rossignol