Film Noir Portraits

Reel Art. Nov. 2022. 256p. ed. by Paul Duncan & Tony Nourmand. ISBN 9781909526815. $59.95. PHOTOGRAPHY
This title showcases the still photographers of the film noir era (roughly 1940–1958), those Hollywood studio and freelance photographers who took promo images as well as photos to be used by graphic artists as the basis for posters and lobby card designs. Film noir actors of this era were also captured in set shots and portrait sessions by some of the great photojournalists of the time (Gjon Mili, Walter Sanders, Peter Stackpole) for periodicals including Life, Look, and The Saturday Evening Post. The photographs included here, with their glaring highlights and inky black tonalities, powerfully convey the mingled allure, menace, and tension that was film noir’s signature. Promo stills and portraits of the stars (Robert Mitchum, John Garfield, Gloria Grahame, Barbara Stanwyck, and many more) from almost 100 films are included, together with several color posters and lobby card illustrations. An introduction by film historian and writer Paul Duncan (the “Pocket Essentials” series) establishes the context.
VERDICT Fans of the genre will delight, as will photographers and graphic designers who value the style of the era.
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