November 29, 2016

"Nudity and purity, sensuality and innocence, grace and spontaneity — we made contradictions of them."

"I try to harmonize them, and that’s my secret and the reason for my success."

Said David Hamilton, the British photographer, quoted in his NYT obituary. It seems that he committed suicide at the age of 83, "one week after a former model accused him of raping her in 1987 when she was 13."
Beginning with “Bilitis” in 1977, Mr. Hamilton directed five erotic movies that largely centered on blossoming sexuality in flower-crowned girls. The films were shot in the dreamy soft-focus style that also defined his photographs for fashion and advertising assignments in the 1960s and ’70s, and for more than two dozen books.... His critics said his photographs flagrantly objectified young women....
As for the rape charge, he told the press "I am innocent," and "The instigator of this media lynching is seeking her quarter of an hour of fame through slander."

The "instigator" called the (apparent) suicide "a cowardly act."

32 comments:

Martha said...

Too bad they can't lock him up.

coupe said...
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Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Just say no to suicide shaming.

n.n said...

It wasn't rape-rape... or perhaps it was.

Otto said...

nostalgia de la boue - wont of a princess.

mikee said...

Why can I only think of a Seinfeld episode right now? You know, the one where they want to go see the movie about the young girl's blossoming sexuality?

RAH said...

I looked at his work He sexualized young women . So I think the accusation is true He definitely thought of them as girls to have sex with. Plus after her accusation , several others also came forward and he suicided which is a sign of shame

William said...

His job entailed photographing nude girls in seductive poses. It would be rather remarkable if he led his entire life as a paradigm of self restraint, but I suppose it can be done......Slightly off topic: I just recently saw the Woody Allen film Crimes and Misdemeanors. It was made in 1989 before his scandal broke and Allen was at the height of his critical acclaim. In the movie, Martin Landau portrays a respected eye surgeon who is guilty of a monstrous crime. The Landau character is a respectable man with a moral compass. He orders the murder of an ex girlfriend. He expects that after this crime he will be crippled by guilt and that the furies of God will pursue him. He is pleasantly surprised to find that life goes on, his marriage gets better, and he continues to gather honors in his profession.......Woody Allen is also in the film. He plays a failed doctumentary filmmaker who goes out on movie dates with his twelve year old niece........The movie has a strange resonance that I don't think Allen intended. You can't help but wonder what in Allen's history led him to believe that a moral man can commit a monstrous crime and go on to further prosperity and contentment. There's one scene in the movie where Allen says that the last woman he has been inside of was when he visited the Statue of Liberty. Then there's a jump cut to a cute five year old girl eating a piece of cake. Very strange. It's a good movie, but you can't help wondering if there's a movie within the movie.

SDaly said...

"Rochelle, Rochelle" - a young girl’s strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.

readering said...

Only surprise is that these accusations weren't made sooner. Surely the climate had already changed. But age of consent in those days in France may have been as low as 13 and may not be much higher now.

readering said...
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tcrosse said...

"Rochelle, Rochelle" - a young girl’s strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk. Played (against type) by Bette Midler.

readering said...

Hamilton's secret and the reason for his success was his unique ability to get parents to go along with their teenage daughters being photographed nude. Did he hypnotize them (the parents)?

Big Mike said...

It seems to me that rape the article is saying that Hamilton's accuser is outside the statute of limitations. Frankly I don't know how one defends oneself against a charge of a crime committed thirty years ago. Is there proof that he was in the nudist resort at the time of the alleged rape? If so, why didn't her father beat the snot out of him and then call the cops? (I'm presuming that even in France parents don't send daughters off to a nudist resort alone.) Hell, is there proof the two were even on the same continent at the time of the alleged rape?

Michael said...

Nothing says rape culture like 30 year lapses in reporting.

Joe said...

Big Mike, this is why there are statutes of limitation. To get beyond hearsay and memory, you need collaboration and when you get decades removed in time, collaboration is mighty difficult.

Joe said...

"Ms. Flament said she was so traumatized by the episode that the memories of it returned only about four years ago, when she was 38."

I call bullshit on this one. However, I wouldn't be surprised if there are others whose charges had more credibility.

coupe said...
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Laslo Spatula said...

Sketchy Guy Who Works at the Adult Bookstore says:

Occasionally you get the guys in the Store who want to pretend to themselves that they are not watching porn: they want flower-crowned girls in dreamy soft-focus style, blossoming in their sexuality. You know: 'Art'…

They will then watch these films freeze-frame by freeze-frame, sweaty thumb on the remote, vainly searching for a tantalizingly clear glimpse of nipple or pubic hair that isn't blurred into sun-saturated cotton candy. They will watch again and again, convinced they had to have seen something that that they know was never really there: they will finally resign themselves to the idea that seeing the young girl in white panties through the nimbus of yellow flowers was enough…

Shit like this was popular in the Seventies, and I think the bygone-era aspect adds to these guys' fantasies: the girls seemed more innocent then, as opposed to what passes for 'innocence' now. They can pretend that the young sun-bleached blonde girl from the Seventies has never heard of a blow-job, or never seen a monster cock on the internet: THEY can be the one to show them this new world, THEY will be The Teacher, THEIRS is the first cock her wide blue eyes will ever see…

When I see these guys I know one of two things will happen after their purchase: I will never see them in the Store again, or they will be back within six months and perusing the hardcore "Lollipops and Lolitas" section, where the pretense of Innocence ain't worth shit but the picture is clear, the girls are legal, and you finally see the blow-jobs…

So: fifteen-year-old-girls on the cusp of eighteen have been replaced by eighteen-year-olds girls in the charade of fourteen. I had a guy who came in asking if we had any videos of transsexuals posing as schoolgirls; the answer is "of course we do." Same with the guys looking for girls fucking in fuzzy animal costumes: you want teddy-bear or rainbow unicorn? Maybe that is the New Innocence, I don't know: I just work here…

I am Laslo.

coupe said...
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Xmas said...

Wow Laslo, that comment was too real.

JAORE said...

Sheltered life that I live I'd never heard of him.

Did a search on line. I was amazed they showed his "art" without pixilation.

I'd wager it falls under the kiddie porn definition in some communities.

Earnest Prole said...

William: My thoughts exactly re Woody Allen's Crimes and Midemeanors -- and as if to prove your point, Allen made the same movie yet again and called it Match Point. Both are masterpieces.

William said...

Further comment on my comment on Woody Allen's film, Crimes and Misdemeanors. Allen always wanted to make a Bergman type film with many layers of complexity and with haunting, ambiguous symbols that left you wondering about their true meaning. . In Crimes and Misdemeanors, he finally succeeded, albeit inadvertently. The ending of the movie was meant to be disturbing, and so it is and in ways more troubling than the artist intended.

Earnest Prole said...

For better and worse the Seventies were not like today. "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

dbp said...

You learn something new every day. I had never heard of David Hamilton and yet looking at the images from a google search, they seem like what would pass as ordinary in a fashion magazine of 70's or 80's. Some of the subjects look more like girls than women, so Hamilton must have known he was on thin ice, even if he never touched them.

Also, there is a whole genre of fake movie posters for non-existent movies mentioned in Seinfeld. Just google rochelle rochelle seinfeld and look at all the examples. Some of them look like they might be real movies, like The Pain and the Yearning .

Smilin' Jack said...

He orders the murder of an ex girlfriend. He expects that after this crime he will be crippled by guilt and that the furies of God will pursue him. He is pleasantly surprised to find that life goes on, his marriage gets better, and he continues to gather honors in his profession...

A decade later, in "Cassandra's Dream", Woody takes the opposite tack.

David said...

"His critics said his photographs flagrantly objectified young women...."

Duh. Young women are objects of intense interest by men, and also other women. That they are objects in that sense does not prevent them from also being unique individuals. In fact the main impediment to becoming a unique individual is usually ourself.

Earnest Prole said...

William, re the Woody Allen of Annie Hall / Manhattan / Hannah and Her Sisters / Crimes and Misdemeanors: Great artists are fully aware of what they reveal and conceal in their greatest works.

William said...

There's what the artist reveals and what gets revealed in the court depositions. Crimes and Misdemeanors takes on different levels of meaning with what we know now versus what we knew when the movie came out. It was a fine movie then, but now it takes on a different layer of complexity.

Earnest Prole said...

Agreed.

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