DARKROOM DIRECTED BY IAN THUILLIER; PIXEL8 PRODUCTIONS (IRELAND, 2003, 52 MIN)
Born and raised in Ireland and trained in America, Harry Thuillier Jr. was a restless spirit whose subject matter was unrelentingly dark. His photographs, distinguished by his use of the rare Platinum Palladium printing process, found their way into magazines and books and onto album covers as well as gallery walls. Thuillier, however, could not escape the darkness that dogged his life. In Dublin, in 1989, he suffered a nervous breakdown. Later he was violently attacked while photographing a crowd of street punks and subsequently lost 80 percent of the vision in his photographic eye. Darkroom examines Thuillier’s talent and his stormy personal life up until his mysterious death in Milan at age 33.
HELMET NEWTON: MY LIFE DIRECTED BY GERO VON BOEHM; FIRST HAND FILMS (SWITZERLAND, 2003, 41 MIN)
Completed shortly before Helmet Newton’s untimely death, My Life is a candid and intimate portrait of one of the most infamous fashion photographers of our time. Newton’s obsession with photography, combining glamour with eroticism and perversity, lead him to an extraordinary career that transformed the industry. Director Gero von Boehm captures Newton’s reminiscences, from his memories of the Berlin park where he played as a child through to contemporary photo shoots in Monte Carlo and Los Angeles. Tracing the influences that initially informed Newton’s work – fashion magazines, Nazi iconography and his love of the cinema – the story is largely told by Newton himself.