GEORGE PLATT LYNES

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During his lifetime, Lynes amassed a substantial body of work involving nude and homoerotic photography. In the 1930s, he began taking nudes of friends, performers and models, including a young Yul Brynner, although these remained private, unknown and unpublished for years.

Katherine Anne Porter, 1947

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Boreas

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Danae and the Shower of Gold

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Acamas and Phyllis

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Jean Cocteau, June 1936

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nude (Bill Harris)

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Lew Christiensen, William Dollar, and Daphne Vane performing Orpheus and Eurydice, 1936LYNES16

Untitled Nude

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Salvador Dalí, 1939

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Helen Bennett with umbrella and mask, c.1938

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from GEORGE PLATT LYNES PHOTOGRAPHS 1931-1955

Spellbound

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Salvador Dali & Ingrid Bergman on the set of Spellbound (1945, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Bergman: “It was a wonderful sequence that really belonged in a museum. The idea for a major part was that I would become, in Gregory Peck’s mind, a statue. To do this, we shot the film in the reverse way in which it would appear onscreen…I was dressed in a draped, Grecian gown, with a crown on my head and an arrow through my neck.”

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Spellbound

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Spellbound

Above: Salvador Dali’s design for the deleted ballroom scene in the dream sequence from Spellbound (1945, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Below: Gregory Peck & Ingrid Bergman in the ballroom scene

“In order to create this impression [of oppressiveness and unease], I will have to hang fifteen of the heaviest and most lavish pianos possible from the ceiling of the ballroom, swinging very low over the heads of the dancers. These would be in exalted dance poses, but they would not move at all, they would only be diminishing silhouettes in a very accelerated perspective, losing themselves in infinite darkness.”

[Spellbound producer David O. Selznick, worried about costs, decided to suspend miniature pianos from the ceiling. To correct the consequent problems with perspective, the studio employed forty dwarfs to dance in the scene]

“The miniature pianos didn’t at all give the impression of real pianos suspended from ropes ready to crack and casting sinister shadows on the ground…and the dwarfs, one saw, simply, that they were dwarfs. Neither Hitchcock nor I liked the result and we decided to eliminate this scene. In truth, the imagination of Hollywood experts will be the one thing that will ever have surpassed me.”

-Salvador Dali, Dali News, 20 Nov. 1945

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‘I want you to kill me!’

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I threw back Gala’s head, pulling it by the hair, and trembling with complete hysteria, I commanded:
‘Now tell me what you want me to do with you! But tell me slowly, looking me in the eye, with the crudest, the most ferociously erotic words that can make both of us feel the greatest shame!’
Then Gala, transforming the last glimmer of her expression of pleasure into the hard light of her own tyranny, answered:
‘I want you to kill me!’
Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali by George Orwell, an essay at the link.