Archive for 10/03/2014


National Media Museum blog

I love the way Chris Harrison used backdrops and drapery to dramatic effect in Copper Horses. He used a sheet of canvas to hide parts of the machine he was photographing which he didn’t want us to see. That way he broke the machine down to fragments.

From Copper Horses, National Media Museum, Bradford © Chris Harrison From Copper Horses, National Media Museum, Bradford © Chris Harrison

The result is a complex visual metaphor for his thoughts and feelings about his relationship with his father and the many people who work hard to make ends meet in British industry.

From Copper Horses, National Media Museum, Bradford © Chris Harrison From Copper Horses, National Media Museum, Bradford © Chris Harrison

As devices, backdrops and drapery have been used for as long as photographers have been taking photographs, as a fine bit of drapery gives an artistic air to the image.

19th century studio portrait photographers used painted canvas backdrops to mimic parlour settings in two dimensions, while a…

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One Room With A View

PSA: this piece isn’t an argument over whether Stone, Mori, or even Ripley do or don’t pass this or that feminist reading. Whilst this writer’s opinion is that they do, that particular discussion is already well-covered from all angles (and to be honest, I’ve gone over my word count). For the curious, there’ll be recommended reading at the end. No – what we’re looking at today is that elusive idea of the multi-faceted female sci-fi lead…

Ripley's successors

It’s 1979. Unknown actor Sigourney Weaver has just been cast in Ridley Scott’s next film, a low-budget sci-fi horror called Alien. What follows is unexpected commercial success, cult status, and the lasting impression that Ripley is something different. Something new. Something better.

Through the 1960s and 70s, Western sci-fi didn’t do too well by its women. Alien‘s casting directors were working with a script full of generic male characters they could…

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