Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sam Shaw's Lens was True. 100 Photos of Sam Shaw for Press Freedom by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders is a non-profit organization headquartered in France and they do 3 or 4 of these photographer portfolios every year to raise money for the organization. 

Sam Shaw Book

Sam Shaw (with Marilyn above) was a photographer of films known for his iconic Hollywood shots. Remember the one where the heating grate sends Marilyn's dress upward? He also shot documentary films and John Cassavetes' cinema verite. But what I found stunning in this book were not the star turns but character portraits behind star poses. You actually get a sense of who they were. There's Liz the beauty looking goofy, Marlon in an altered state. Real people. He shot meaning beyond pretty people in pretty photos. His lens was true.

And he went after meanings in other forms. Here from an online bio:
In the 1960s, Shaw branched out into producing. He made the film Paris Blues (1961) starring Paul Newman and Sydney Poitier as American jazz musicians in the French city. The score for the film was composed by Shaw's friend Duke Ellington. Shaw later teamed up with filmmaker and actor John Cassavetes to produce such films as Husbands (1970), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Opening Night (1977) and Gloria (1980). Cassavetes called Shaw a "renaissance man"; his multi-talented friend Shaw was the production designer for A Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) and also photographed Cassavetes' films and designed their advertising campaigns.

Actress Gena Rowland

There is also a grey hardcover book with 200 images from the 1940's through the 1980's. It is the catalog to a retrospective exhibition tour launching this year in September. The book is here:

The Exhibition is opening on September 11th, 2015 at the Cultural Center of Caiscais, in Caiscais Portugal. The exhibition then continues to travel to various European countries through 2018.