Sunday, August 7, 2011
Last night I watched a documentary on TV about photographer David Baily called "Four Beats to the Bar and No Cheating" and it was so, so good ....
see a little preview here ....

 Synopsis ..... via here

From Vogue magazine fashion photographer to filmmaker, painter and sculptor, Bailey is the working-class Londoner who befriended the stars (Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Jack Nicholson, Roman Polanski), married his muses (Jean Shrimpton, Catherine Deneuve, Marie Helvin) and captures the spirit and elegance of his times with his refreshingly simple approach and razor-sharp eye.

He is also the man whose life and work inspired one of the cult movies of the sixties, Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up, and who has constantly travelled the globe either with the most beautiful models or chronicling the contemporary reality of Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Vietnam, Afghanistan and other countries with ground-breaking reportages.

Above all, Bailey is a romantic with a delightful sense of humour approaching his 73rd year and showing no sign of slowing up. Director Jérôme de Missolz shuttles with him from his London studio to his country home in Devon, SW England, where, surrounded by family and friends, he continues to create one of the most varied and pertinent collections of any modern artist.

Featuring interviews with art critic Martin Harrison, Bailey's former wife Catherine Deneuve, his current wife of over twenty years Catherine Dyer, and his close friend Jerry Hall, Jérôme de Missolz's documentary is an engaging portrait of this very private man who bared the soul of the swinging sixties and seventies with his photographs and films. Grounded, honest, open and ferociously creative, Bailey makes art the way Count Basie played jazz: Four beats to the bar and no cheating.
David Bailey, the super-cool, super-talented fashion photographer who was the model for the lead role (played by David Hemmings) in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 classic film Blow-up, is now over 70. He is still active as a photographer, both in the fashion and art worlds. Director Jérôme De Missolz was permitted to film him from pretty close up. We see Bailey in his home, with his wife and children, and in discussions with his friends. We are also witness to the inception of a new photography project on his home turf, the East End of London. Bailey turns out to be an artist with no time for pretentiousness or over-complicated theorizing about his art. "Four beats to the bar and no cheating" is one of his favorite quotations from his hero Count Basie. In his photographs, this approach leads to the transparent style for which he has become famous. If possible, we can even forget we are looking at a photo, let alone a beautiful, exceptionally composed or creatively arranged photo. All we see is the person Bailey has photographed, in all his or her nakedness. Bailey's admirers also give their views, including his ex-wife Catherine Deneuve. No, he ever learned a word of French throughout their marriage. This is typical of the man: a rough diamond, even in his seventies. 

Really worth watching if you get the chance.