New Delhi: Hollywood greats Paul Newman, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman... catch these cult figures at an exhibition of timeless photographs, `At the Movies- Magnum ke Tasveer` capturing 100 years of Hollywood, on in the capital.
Cinema and its glittering icons make for the most memorable still photographs because of the larger than life realities they portray. And the men behind the cameras who capture rare cinematic moments remain some of the greatest photographers till date.
Photographer Bruce Davidson caught Hollywood icon Paul Newman in a rare moment at Connecticut in US in 2000. The aging hero wore a pensive expression with his palm covering his face. The shot became iconic.
Davidson, born in 1933, began shooting at the age of 10.
While posted near Paris as an army man, he met the legendary photographer Henri Cartier Bresson and later joined the `Magnum Photos`, the international photographic cooperative founded by four ace cameramen - George Rodger, Bresson, Robert Capa and David Seymour.
In the 1950s, when the cult of cinema idols in Hollywood and Europe peaked, Magnum reached its golden age by documenting the history of cinema and the lives of the cult heroes.
Magnum photographers forged life-long friendships with movie stars.
War chronicler Robert Capa, one of the founding photographers of Magnum Cooperative, shot one of his most exciting bodies of photographs when he struck a friendship with Hollywood director John Houston.
In 1961, Magnum photographers were given the exclusive right to document the making of Houston`s seminal movie, "The Misfit" , written by acclaimed playwright Arthur Miller, featuring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift.
The exhibition, `At the Movies - Magnum ke Tasveer`, captures 100 years of Hollywood in iconic still photographs of stars and movie sets by Magnum Cooperative photographers. The month-long exhibition opened in the capital Friday at the gallery Art Motif.
The exhibits include Magnum`s stills from "The Misfits"; a rare 1965 composition featuring artist Andy Warhol with Edie Sedgwick and Chuck Wein on an empty street shot by Burt Glinn, a full-life portrait of Sophia Loren as a budding actress in 1955 by David Seymour, a shot of Audrey Hepburn on the sets of "Sabrina" by Dennis Stock in 1954, a dramatic shot of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman by Robert Capa in 1946 and many more.
The body of work also includes a sultry series on Marilyn Monroe on the sets shot by early Hollywood lens-woman Eve Arnold and stills from Alfred Hitchcock`s movie, "The Birds" featuring the director himself eating a "roast chicken" and "smoking a pipe" captured by Phillipe Halsman in 1962.
The exhibition of 40 rare black and white stills has been brought to India by Tasveer, a platform that promotes photography, and Ganjam, the 121-year-old house of jewellers.
Shalini Gupta of Tasveer said, "It was an honour to be associated with Magnum."
"We want to bring more such exhibitions to India," Gupta said.
"The exhibition is important because it represents nostalgia - these were the icons we grew up with. India is finally acknowledging the importance of photographs as a historic medium," Abhisekh Poddar of Tasveer told IANS.
The exhibition was inaugurated by actress Sharmila Tagore.
"Robert Capa is one of my favourite photographers. We should have similar exhibitions of movie photographs in India - probably a journey from `Madhubala to Madhuri Dixit`," the actress said to reporters.
Tagore has worked with the photo-biographer of Satyajit Ray, Nemai Ghosh on a book about artist Paresh Maity.
"Cinema is the most exciting medium with good-looking people and extraordinary settings. Movie photographs are naturally wonderful," photographer Raghu Rai told reporters.