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A World Behind the Scene

From Fellini to Tim Burton, FNAC Alicante presents 40 years of photographs by Mary Ellen Mark.

Extras waiting for their call, The Day of the Locust, Los Angeles, California, 1974 via maryellenmark.com

Since the late 1960s, Mary Ellen Mark has worked on over a 100 film sets and made thousands of photographs. At times she’d be assigned by a magazine but, more often, she’d be hired by the film studio as what is called a special stills photographer.

Karen Black and Bill Atherton being moved to another location,The Day of the Locust, Los Angeles, California, 1974 via maryellenmark.com

The current exhibition in Alicante offers stills from the first films photographed in the 60s, such as Federico Fellini’s Satyricon, legendary productions from the 70s including Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Milos Forman. More recent stills from films such as Babel by Alejandro González Iñárritu and Sweeney Todd by Tim Burton are also featured.

Dennis Hopper on the set of Apocalypse Now, Pagsanjan, Philippines, 1976 via maryellenmark.com

The exhibition also presents some of Mark’s favorite portraits of film personalities, actors and directors including Woody Allen, Marlon Brando and Christopher Reeve.

Dustin Hoffman at the resevoir in Central Park between takes, Marathon Man, Manhattan, New York, 1975 via maryellenmark.com

“Most of my favorite pictures are these documentary photographs of actors and actresses between takes, or of directors, producers and technicians on the other side of the camera,” Mark writes in the introduction to Seen Behind The Scene. “I make some portraits of actors in the studio,” she admits, “but most often they are taken behind the scenes, which has always been one of my preferred ways of working, especially in a surreal atmosphere like that of a film set.”

Nicole Kidman, Fur, Steiner Studios, Brooklyn, New York, 2005 via maryellenmark.com

Mary Ellen Mark is one of the most internationally recognised documentary photographers alive. This, in parallel with her career as a portraitist of production in the film industry. She currently lives and works in New York.

From Fellini to Tim Burton: 40 years of photographs by Mary Ellen Mark at FNAC Alicante, Station Avenue 5 is open until July 27th, 2011.

If you’re interested in Mary Ellen Mark’s film work, Seen Behind The Scene Forty Years of Photographing on Set published by Phaidon Press, London is also available.

written by webo29

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