Antonin Artaud, Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society

Besides, one does not commit suicide alone.
No one was ever born alone.
Nor had anyone died alone.
But, in the case of suicide, a whole army of evil beings is needed to force the body to perform the unnatural act of depriving itself of its own life.
And I believe that there is always someone else, at the extreme moment of death, to strip us of our own life.

Joan Crawford (top left) and Bette Davis (right, with cigarette) at a reading rehearsal for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Joan Crawford Bette Davis

“One day I was given 20 minues to shoot [the Baby Jane reading rehearsal] from the catwalk above. At the time, Crawford was married to the president of Pepsi-Cola. A Pepsi bottle was next to her at all times, and she occasionally sipped from it. Without even looking upward, she sensed my movements on the catwalk – and while reading her lines, she would deftly move the bottle & its logo so that none of the other actors would obscure it in my shots.

In this shot, Crawford and Davis seem quite affable. They each had a portable dressing room. Crawford wanted certain adjustments made. She wanted a ledge for her social secretary to put papers on, and an air-conditioner. She also wanted several other things. She had the men take care of it. As they left Crawford’s dressing room with their tools, Davis just stood a few feet away watching. One of the grips said, ‘Hey Bette, anything we can do for you?’ She said, ‘No, thank you. Dressing rooms don’t make pictures.’

After the wrap each evening, Crawford would leave the sound stage followed by her entourage: hairdresser, makeup man, costumer, social secretary. Davis just left with Davis.”

-photographer Phil Stern (via)