Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blow Up (1966)

I have a new camera and I like it. It's digital, it's fast, and it's furious. Most of the pictures on this site were taken with it. In the back of my mind, though, I've always known that it missed something. I hadn't been able to put my finger on what it missed, though, until the other day when I checked out Antonioni's classic movie Blow Up (1966), and suddenly realized what it is: the ability to be used in hand to hand combat.

I haven't even seen the entire movie yet because the DVD started skipping, but it's about a detached fashion photographer in "swinging" or "mod" London. It's cool. My epiphany came during a scene where the main character, the photographer, drives up somewhere in his convertable, parks, opens his glove box, and lifts out his 35mm. This was 1966. And the thing is, what struck me, is how you could tell that this thing had some weight to it. I'm not clever enough to know what make of SLR it is, but it was clearly metal, and its parts were metal; when he fits it to his palm, you can almost hear tiny mechanical noises of parts, tiny metal parts, operating or hitting his skin. And all he was doing was holding it. Look at it in the poster there . . . in the film, he doesn't use it to strike the lady under him or anything (well, maybe metaphorically he does) or anybody else as far as I know. But if he found himself surrounded in an alley, I bet he could start swinging that thing and take out a few people.

On the other hand, my camera is plastic. It's nice, and does nice things, but when I put it into my hand, I might as well be picking up a Happy Meal. I can tell myself that all that really matters is how the pictures turn out, but that's like saying that cars are only about getting you to work on time. *sigh* I'm not a violent person, but I wish that if I ever needed to clonk someone over the head with my camera, it would hurt them.

8 comments:

Random1001.5 said...

well...you could put metal spikes on your camera and make it all cool and stuff... maybe? Or...you could...make it when ever someone else you didn't want to touch it, it could spontainously combust...wait...darn...that wouldn't work...

Mr. Hill said...

Thanks for the ideas. Let me know what else you come up with.

Martin B. said...

I have a "wunderplastik" digital camera but I still keep, and use, old cameras from the 60's and 70's. They're MMM. Metal, mechanical and manual ...and heavy.

You can effectively use them to knock someone on the ground AND take their picture. You might have to wipe it clean afterwards but the camera won't have a dent.

There's even better. Old 4"X5" Graflex press cameras. A old photog once complained. "Whith a Nikon, you knock someone down with it and they get up again. With a Graflex, you knocked them down and they stayed down !"

I sugest you try one of them, they are practicly giving them away now on eBay and they still an give great results. Plus they can be handy in a back alley...

hugo solo said...

is the best thing about photography and david hemmings was david hemmings and in a movie all have a lot of magic a lot of people create one personality young vanessa and birkin all scenes are great one time per year i see the movie in my blog i have a link about the movie and antonioni

hugo solo said...

nikon F

eolake said...

I know quite how you feel. Even though I like light and compact cameras, I miss metal.
I just got a Pentax Spotmatic from the sixties as a birthday gift! :) That is one solid camera.
Read all about it at:
http://eolake.blogspot.com

decnavda said...

Well, old cameras are cool for photo albums. If u want PC picks then ya use digital. these days its good to have both really.

eolake said...

"I'm not clever enough to know what make of SLR it is"

I'm pretty sure it's a Nikon F.
(The predecessor to the F2, wich I just blogged about.)