"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." — Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Celluloid Myths

Continuing my exploration of Maryon Park, S E London, location of Antonioni's seminal film Blow Up.....

Looking back at the pictures I took that day led me to wonder whether knowledge of a place's connections with a certain occasion or occurrence can influence the photographer to shoot in a particular way.  Being aware of the park's connection with the film, was I subconsciously looking for subjects which would reinforce the image of the place I had in my mind?  Perhaps I had preconceived ideas of this being a place of mystery and intrigue, of trying to shape my vision to fit that of the film?  Antonioni himself obviously had a specific vision in mind as he famously had the fencing and grass sprayed a unique shade of green!  Whatever the truth of it, the photographs that resulted often had an unsettling, ominous quality to them....

Wandering around the park, it became clear that mine was not the first visit following in the footsteps of the director - it is obviously a place of pilgrimage for many a film fan. There is an official commemorative plaque but not content with that, people have left their own mark to remind the world of the celluloid links, including a curious x marks the spot in the very place where the body disappears in the film.

If only it was that easy!

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