Douglas Kirkland's Light Years: Three Decades of Photographing Among the Stars

Douglas Kirkland, Author Thames & Hudson $45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-500-54154-8
``Her attitude toward me ranged from queenly amusement to cold skepticism,'' fondly recalls photographer Kirkland of Coco Chanel, a subject of his lens in 1961. The result of their collaboration was friendship, as well as a ``memorable lesson in eating with a knife and fork'' given by the great couturier herself. Though the spirited intimacy of that encounter was not consistently duplicated in Kirkland's other assignments for Life , Look et al., the impact of the 100 ``star'' shots collected in this handsome volume remains uncommonly personal. Even Marilyn Monroe (``you got drunk on her as on a vapor'') appears in a new and ethereal guise, no longer just a buxom big shot, while an elderly Mary Pickford seems, uncharacteristically, to ponder her mortality while standing beside an ageless Beverly Hills swimming pool. Divided into sections of pictures taken in the '60s, '70s and '80s, the book is as rich in captions--in which Kirkland proves to be a gifted raconteur--as it is in provocative and enduringly beautiful images. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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