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This photo, by the most infamous early paparazzi photographer, Marcello Geppetti, was shot in Spoleto between takes for Louis Malle's film, La Vie Privée. Geppetti liked to incorporate admiring fans in his photos of stars, utilising the paparazzi aesthetic of low-angle shots. His celebrity subjects were wide-ranging and included celebrated photographs of the Beatles visit to Rome in 1965. Here Bardot seems larger than life, which can be regarded as a literal reenactment of her symbolic elevated status. To further the photo's voyeurism, Bardot avoids contact with the camera. Her body faces us but her eyes are averted. The movie follows the life of fictional diva and sex icon ‘Jill’ who due to the pressures of fame and a troubled personal life meets a tragic end. Often overlapping with biographical details of her own life, the film blurs the lines between reality and fiction. Referring to Bardot’s own relationship with the persistent press, the film paints the picture of an ever-growing army of paparazzi willing to cross any line for a shot. La Vie Privée was met with critical success and public debate grew around the issue of right to privacy, an issue that is still at the forefront today. According to Malle, filming was difficult from the start, Bardot and her co-star Marcello Mastroianni didn’t get on and there was a great deal of press intrusion and studio interference. Malle was unhappy with the film and frustrated by the experience of making it apart from the last section shot in Spoleto that he felt had a lyrical quality that transcended the material. Here Bardot is accompanied by two unidentified friends. With their gaze elsewhere, it appears none of the party was aware of Geppetti's presence. This furthers the photograph's voyeuristic nature in that it lacks any sort of confrontation between the subject and spectator over the power of the gaze. In addition, the blurred head in the lower right hand corner acts as a buffer between photographer and celebrity, thus creating a peepshow like distance. Vintage silver gelatin print with photographer's stamp and handwritten mentions on the back.

Vintage photographs presented by Flash Projects include pre-owned photographs, including press images which may have been frequently handled. Flash Projects is happy to send condition reports of any contemporary edition or vintage work on request. Condition reports are provided as a service to interested parties, and buyers should note that descriptions of property are not warranties. Each item is sold ‘as is’.

Marcello Geppetti

Bardot and fans in Spoleto

Vintage Gelatin Silver Print

17.8 x 24 cms (7.00 x 9.43 ins)

1961



Stamped on reverse: COPYRIGHT BY MARCELLO GEPPETTI
R.A.F. REPORTAGE ATTUALITA FOTOGRAFICHE
ROMA V. dell'Archetto, 22 Tel-688.688
SERVIZIO DISTRIBUITO DA PUBLIFOTO MILANO
Inscribed on reverse by Marcello Geppetti: 'Brigitte a Spoleto Guigno 1961'

 

£1,800