Every Monday, we’re going to present analogue eye candies to you! You may have already seen them in cinematic films, old school music videos, vintage advertisements, or other forms of visual media. Our third full feature for this series is a Praktica LTL seen on The Unbearable Lightness of Being!
Camera: Praktica LTL
Cameo-d on: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a film adaptation directed by Philip Kaufman based on the novel written by Milan Kundera. The story takes place in the late ’60s and early ’70s in Prague and the plot revolves around the love triangle of Tomas, Tereza, and Sabina, portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin, respectively.
Tereza (Binoche) is a radical photographer whose anger is fueled by her husband’s infidelities. In the movie, Tereza uses a 35mm SLR camera — a vintage Praktica LTL. In the 22nd chapter of the novel, Tereza’s camera serves as “both a mechanical eye through which to observe Tomas’s mistress and a veil by which to conceal her face from her.”
In the commentary section of the Criterion Collection release of the film, Stanley Kubrick found the scene wherein Sabina poses nude for Tereza to photograph (and vice versa) remarkable and complimented the camera which Tereza uses to photograph. ‘The camera wasn’t just vintage, it was anachronistic.’
And now, a closer, more technical look at our featured analogue gear: the Praktica LTL. This single lens reflex camera was manufactured from December 1970 to November 1975 by Pentacon. It had a built-in shutter speed meter and a fixed eye-level view finder. Here are some Review articles of the Praktica family right here on Lomography’s Magazine: Praktica L and Praktica LTL3.
*Camera Cameos* is one of Lomography’s editorial series which features different film cameras that appeared in different forms of visual media. Stay tuned for the next episode!