Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mental Movies

This past Sunday morning, Sky and our step-brother Chris (in town from Portland, Oregon) and I met up for a quick trip to the Fort Greene flea market. It was mostly uneventful—no records worth reporting—but Sky found a really amazing book: former Life magazine photojournalist Leigh Wiener's Tijuana Sunday, a series documenting 52 minutes at a bull fight on a sunny afternoon in 1961. (Click to enlarge the pictures.)

Wiener's point of view on bull fighting is clear; I'll spare you the gruesome shots of the bull being tortured and eventually killed, to the great delight and/or horror of much of the crowd. This sport, despite the glamorous culture that surrounds it, is sick and wrong.

The photography is captivating. At first glance I thought Tijuana Sunday was a great book, and easily worth the $15 price tag—but it became instantly legendary to me when Sky showed me these spreads:

Long time readers of this blog (hi mom) will remember that I posted this photo before. The man in the picture is a young Dennis Hopper, so I always assumed it was a film still. I've been trying to figure out what movie it came from since high school, when I clipped the picture out of a magazine and promptly forgot the context.

There you have it, mystery solved.

More info on Leigh Wiener (1929–1993) at his website.

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