Dreamgirls: The photography of Guy Bourdin.

 

On 14th December 1996 BBC 2 television aired a 50 minute programme about Guy Bourdin.

The programme deals with aspects of his work seen through the eyes of people who worked with him or knew him mostly during his heyday of the seventies. It does not talk of his biography but we do see 8mm footage of him and also footage of models he shot himself. He did not like having his picture published so it is interesting to see what he actually looked like.

The film shows rather few of his pictures, some of which is repeated. They also try to reproduce some scenarios in his style on film. Interesting insights are given by the interviewees. Jerry hall and Susan Moncur tell about how he was the one everyone wanted to work with in the seventies and how he wanted models to act in his photographs instead of just posing. Serge Lutens talks about how Bourdin was the antithesis of his idea of "Vogue" and the misogyny he perceived in him, describing how he would make models kneel on all fours and hold uncomfortable positions and would draw it out as long as possible, enjoying his power over them. The impression is that he did not quite like him. Bourdin's half-brother Michel and his friend Isi Veleris give insights into his troubled private life and Phillipe Garner gives an excellent critique of his work.

Unfortunately there is a big digital time stamp across a large part of the screen on the rented video which spoils the programme a bit.

The programme features interviews with the following:
Jerry Hall, model
Susan Moncur, model
Serge Lutens, image maker
Michel Bourdin, half-brother
Helmut Newton, photographer
Francine Crescent, French Vogue 1957 - 87
Jean - Baptiste Mondino, photographer & video director
Grace Coddinton, American Vogue
Isi Veleris, friend
Phillipe Garner, Sotheby's

The video is entitled:
TX: Dreamgirls: The photography of Guy Bourdin VC230774
and is available on a 2 week loan for 20 + VAT from:
BBC Information Archives, South Block Despatch,
Reynard Mills Business Park
Windmill Road, Brentford,
Middlesex TW8 9NQ

Tel: +44 20 7557 2452 Fax: +44 20 7868 0977