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Framing PicturesFilm and the Visual Arts$
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Steven Jacobs

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640171

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640171.001.0001

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Tableaux Vivants 2: Film Stills and Contemporary Photography

Tableaux Vivants 2: Film Stills and Contemporary Photography

(p.121) Chapter 5 Tableaux Vivants 2: Film Stills and Contemporary Photography
Framing Pictures

Steven Jacobs

Edinburgh University Press

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

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