Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Fearless Vampire Killers

Roman Polanski, Iver Heath, UK, 1967 
photographed by Douglas Slocombe (1913-2016)

Douglas Slocombe died the other day at the very old age of a hundred three, and most of the obituaries led with his being Spielberg’s favorite DP and the photographer behind three of the four Indiana Jones films, which is really too bad, especially as he was responsible for much better, even great work.  My favorite of the films that he shot is, of course, the Fearless Vampire Killers.  When they were shooting at Pinewood Studios, Kubrick was shooting 2001: A Space Odyssey in an adjoining studio and his crew was said to be rather envious of the jovial spirit that pervaded Polanski’s set.  I believe that spirit comes through in the staggeringly beautiful images above, and that Slocombe could take a fair amount of the credit for this beauty.

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