Anne & Don’t Call Me Annie — The Cop’s Daughter

On April 8, my Rosemary and I are attending the opening performance of Aaron Bushkowsky’s play Farewell My Lovely which is an adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s 1940 noir novel. It will be at the Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage.

Ever since my mother and father took me to see noir films from the 40s in Buenos Aires I have been fascinated will all things noir.

Around 1983 as I wrote here I bought a worthless, red leatherette collection of the novels of Raymond Chandler. I have read all at least twice and my favourite, Playback many more times.

Through the years I have attempted with my camera to take photographs in thespirit of the novels of Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

Mrs. Merwin Lockridge Grayle — Illust. Paul J. Crompton

When I received, some months back, my little Arts Club Theatre promotion card announcing the opening (after a successful run in Calgary) of Bushkowsky’s Farewell My Lovely I got very excited.

My excitement went beyond expectation when I found out that actress (sorry not actor and I am sure that Marlowe would agree) Emma Slipp was playing Anne Riordan. In the novel she is not the flashy blonde femme fatale but the kind of woman that Marlowe almost falls for.

I wrote to Slipp suggesting that we might shoot for fun with the theme that she plays Anne Riordan.

I took my photographs yesterday ably assisted by makeup man Ghassan Shanti. I am extremely happy with the results.

When I first photographed Slipp last year for the Georgia Straight’s Fall Arts Preview, she had lustrous black and wavy hair. I was surprised (and ever so slightly disappointed) that the folks in charge of making the play did not suggest she dye her hair red as Anne Riordan is definitely a redhead in the novel.

To prepare for the session I took our from Limelight Video (if there is another copy of this film anywhere else in town I don’t know about it) the 1975 Dick richards colour Farewell My Lovely with Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling (the only woman I would leave my wife for), that favourite Canadian actor John Ireland, Harry Dean Stanton and a very young Sylvester Stallone.

The film is extremely good and I don’t care if people say Mitchum is too old to play Marlowe. They are simply out to lunch. But the film was shocking in that Anne Riordan was eliminated!

I also prepared for the session by re-reading Farewell My Lovely with stickies. I placed stickies whenever Riordan appeared. For a couple of blogs here and here I used these quotes.

But I want to stop all this and simply run many of the pictures I took.

For the session I used a Mamiya RB-67 Pro-SD with a 140mm lens and with two backs one loaded with Ilford F-P4 Plus and the other with the long discontinued (but available in my fridge) Kodak Technical Pan. Both are b+w films. On a venerable circa 1960 Asahi Pentax 35mm camera with a 55mm f-2 lens I used Fujicolour 800 ISO colour negative film. When I scan this film which I exposed to my flash’s tungsten lights (3200 Kelvin) and did not use the flash the results will mimic the lurid Technicolor of the 1975 film. I also used my digital Fuji X-E1. The pictures in this blog are only from that camera.

For most of the photographs I used three lights (with flash and tungsten modeling lights). One was a circular, focusing spotlight and the other two were equipped with grids to narrow the beams dramatically. If you note in some of the pictures you will find that there are two catch-lights in Slipp’s eyes. One is from the spotlight (high above to cast that shadow under her nose). The other is called a kicker and it fills in slightly the deep shadow under Slipp’s face on her neck. Sometimes I omitted the spotlight (aimed it at her hat) and used only the kicker light on her face. The ones with the netting in front of her face were shot like that.

In between the long session we had good loose tea and Rosemary’s store bought (Safeway!) lemon cake.

Link to: Anne & Don’t Call Me Annie — The Cop’s Daughter

Originally published at