Author: Don Bachardy
Page Count/Review Word Count: 368
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
I’m not normally a fan of large hardbacks, and this certainly fits the bill – it’s huge, and one of the heaviest books that I own. The stiff front cover is further protected by a plastic binding, and the glossy pages are of a high-quality that shows off Bachardy’s portraits at their very best.
Now, I can’t say that I recognised many of the people included in the anthology, but I could still appreciate the way in which Bachardy managed to capture the soul of his sitters by absorbing their expressions in a way that no photographer ever could. It’s particularly interesting when the same people are shown twice, but with a number of years in between them – there’s often still the same something which defines them, and which shows in both portraits despite their years.
The pictures are separated in to three different sections – ‘directors‘, ‘screenwriters and others‘, and ‘actors‘. There’s also an index to help you to look up your favourite personalities, but the beauty of this book is the way that you can flip through it at random and always find something interesting. And, if you want to read it from cover to cover like I did, it’s only going to take you half an hour if you give each of the pictures just a cursory glance.
You can always look back at your favourite portraits later, and there are a huge collection to choose from – my own favourite is a portrait of Tom Waits, who’s one of my all-time heroes. Don Bachardy must be a fascinating man to speak to – he’s met everyone who’s anyone, and he’s also the former life partner of the late novelist Christopher Isherwood. I’m hardly a scholar of either of them, and I knew very little about them until I read this book, but I have to say that my interest is piqued.
So yeah, I recommend that you go and buy yourself a copy. If only I could afford to buy that Tom Waits print…