Brigitte Bardot with friends between shooting 'La Vie Privée'
Vintage Gelatin Silver Print 18.2 x 24 cms (7.15 x 9.43 ins) 1961 JHG5102
Stamped on reverse: EREDI DI MARCELLO GEPPETTI FOTOREPORTER
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BRIGITTE BARDOT E LA SUA SEGRE TARIA A SPOLETO GIUGNO 1961
Brigitte Bardot with friends between shooting takes for a Louis Malle film, La Vie Privée. The movie follows the life of fictional diva and sex icon 'Jill' who due to the pressures of fame and a troubled personal life meets a tragic end. Often overlapping with biographical details of her own life, the film blurs the lines between reality and fiction. Referring to Bardot's own relationship with the persistent press, the film paints the picture of an ever-growing army of paparazzi willing to cross any line for a shot. La Vie Privée was met with critical success and public debate grew around the issue of right to privacy, an issue that is still at the forefront today. According to Malle, filming was difficult from the start, Bardot and her co-star Marcello Mastoianni didn't get on and there was a great deal of press intrusion and studio interference. Malle was unhappy with the film and frustrated by the experience of making it apart from the last section shot in Spoleto that he felt had a lyrical quality that transcended the material. This photograph, by the most mischievous and voyeuristic of paparazzi at the time, Marcello Geppetti, was shot between takes for the film. Here Bardot is accompanied by two unidentified friends, with their backs facing the camera; it appears none of the party was aware of Geppetti's presence. This furthers the photograph's voyeuristic nature in that it lacks any sort of confrontation between the subject and spectator over the power of the gaze. Interestingly, what sometimes gives Geppetti's images such a violent edge is his use of high-angle shots. Appearing to look down on the celebrity, he uses the camera as a predatory device, hunting and cornering the star.