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Johnny Depp as Gene Smith in upcoming movie
Old 08-14-2019   #1
CameraQuest
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Johnny Depp as Gene Smith in upcoming movie

https://variety.com/2019/film/news/j...ta-1203124773/

“Minamata” by director Andrew Levitas

notice the Minolta - that is what he was shooting then

--

Maybe Gene Smith's protege Bill Pierce might share some thoughts on this ?

Stephen
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Old 08-14-2019   #2
giganova
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Quick -- buy a vintage Minolta on Ebay before they skyrocket in price!

I remember when one of the Kardashians was on a talk show with a Contax and Ebay went crazy that night!
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Old 08-14-2019   #3
Steve M.
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Eugene Smith....a great photographer. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
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Old 08-14-2019   #4
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Not really a fan of Depp.

He has made a career out of being freaky........altogether too quirky (personally and professionally) for my tastes and as a result no matter what role he is playing I find it hard to get beyond the fact that its just Johnny Depp strutting his stuff. That means I struggle to immerse myself in whatever film he stars in as I cannot suspend disbelief and just go with the story. Will this one be any different......maybe.

Sorry for sounding negative but he is just one of those "stars" who I do not really fancy very much. (PS Johnny when a 50 something year old man calls himself Johnny or Jimmy or some such, its kind of an invitation not to take him terribly seriously. I have enough trouble with Billy Bob Thornton's name though I much prefer him as an actor. At least the name "Billy Bob" has a kind of old world USA countrified charm about it.
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Old 08-14-2019   #5
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Jimmy Stewart? Johnny Cash? It's just a name. I saw Billy Bob Thornton on a recent Dan Rather interview and he impressed me with his intelligence and insight, especially into the current lack of depth in Hollywood movies. These guys are actors, they only play parts. They're really not the characters they play.

Depp is pretty good. You're only remembering the freaky character movies. He's made his chops and shown his range as an actor. Remember, Gene Smith had some emotional problems and used drugs.
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Old 08-14-2019   #6
Erik van Straten
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Maybe this movie will give a boost to photography on film.

Erik.
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Old 08-14-2019   #7
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a la Jimmy Page? Gotta take him seriously, and he's probably pushing 70!
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Old 08-14-2019   #8
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I hope they cover Smith's battle for story rights, it would be hard to ignore.
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Old 08-14-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Not really a fan of Depp.

He has made a career out of being freaky........altogether too quirky (personally and professionally) for my tastes and as a result no matter what role he is playing I find it hard to get beyond the fact that its just Johnny Depp strutting his stuff. That means I struggle to immerse myself in whatever film he stars in as I cannot suspend disbelief and just go with the story. Will this one be any different......maybe.

Sorry for sounding negative but he is just one of those "stars" who I do not really fancy very much. .........
Yup. Except I don't really think he is freaky. He is one of the stars that I just won't really watch or enjoy watching when I do.

This movie probably won't be any different. I'm guessing he will do his version of Smith, exaggerating the behaviors like drinking and drugs, which won't be what Smith was really like. Just a guess...

Glad they are making a movie about Smith though even with Depp in it. Maybe we will start seeing more movies like it since photography has a rich history of characters.
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Old 08-14-2019   #10
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Minamata was/is definitely one of the worst devastating diseases of the century. Growing up in Japan, I read a lot about it in school, but never had firsthand encounters with the people who were affected by Minamata as I lived relatively far away from the area. I am looking forward to seeing this movie, and I hope this will bring some light to this tragedy that is still relatively unknown globally.
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Old 08-14-2019   #11
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Quote:
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Eugene Smith....a great photographer. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
Wife and I saw a set of "Country Doctor" prints in a Denver gallery many years ago. There's a branch of the Ceriani family living here in Denver and I believe the prints were family possessions. Might even have been printed by Smith. They were Gorgeous.
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Old 08-15-2019   #12
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Originally Posted by semi-ambivalent View Post
Wife and I saw a set of "Country Doctor" prints in a Denver gallery many years ago. There's a branch of the Ceriani family living here in Denver and I believe the prints were family possessions. Might even have been printed by Smith. They were Gorgeous.
S-A,

W. Eugene Smith was a great printer as well as a great photographer.

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Old 08-15-2019   #13
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I'm not a huge fan of American movies, & avoided the "Pirates of the Caribbean." But I enjoyed Johnny D in the movie "Chocolat." He does play guitar in real life. I'm willing to bet he'll do a passable job as Wm Eugene Smith. Looking forward to seeing the movie.
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Old 08-15-2019   #14
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I am looking forward to the movie. Certainly a contrarian, difficult and, often impossible artist who made fantastic photos. This clip provides a good introduction to the man and his work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bIudVlWo4U&t=528s
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Old 08-15-2019   #15
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I wonder if the movie will include the many hours Gene Smith spent photographing and recording Thelonious Monk? That would make for a good sound track!
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Old 08-15-2019   #16
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No, upon reading the article, it covers a limited window of time.
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Old 08-15-2019   #17
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There are other lesser known soundtracks of Thelonious Monk on YouTube....try.
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Old 08-15-2019   #18
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Gene Smith dropped in to my freshman class at RIT improving...
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Old 08-15-2019   #19
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Smith might be hard to characterise in a feature film. "Photography Made Difficult" (Peter Riegert) was a disappointment.
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Old 08-15-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Not really a fan of Depp.

He has made a career out of being freaky........altogether too quirky (personally and professionally) for my tastes and as a result no matter what role he is playing I find it hard to get beyond the fact that its just Johnny Depp strutting his stuff.
He is not always overplaying. He performed feeling and cautious in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, one of my most loved American films. He was a young man back then, but I think he has the potential to fill the role of Gene Smith. We will see what he makes out of a serious stuff like Minamata.
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Old 08-16-2019   #21
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JD has lived quite a life. WES lived the life that made JD possible.
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Old 08-16-2019   #22
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From the first time I saw W Eugene Smith’s ‘Country Doctor’ photos they have made an abiding, profound and lasting impression on me, and later, his ‘Minamata’ work has resonated in the same way. To me the photographs have an etherial, unworldly quality quite unlike anything from the other great photographers of the time. W Eugene Smith’s body of work is incomparable.
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Old 08-16-2019   #23
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Depp is very high on my list of Hollywood actors ... and was from the moment I saw Edward Scissor Hands. The list of movies I've seen and enjoyed is endless ... What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Benny and Joon, Dead Man etc etc. I think the only movie that realy disappointed me was Chocolat and that was because I'd read the book and really didn't like the way Hollywood screwed with the plot .... surprise surprise!

He's complex and self destructive as many of those Hollywood stars are ... I read an article about him in Roling Stone that painted a very grim picture of his life style.
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Old 08-16-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
Quick -- buy a vintage Minolta on Ebay before they skyrocket in price!

I remember when one of the Kardashians was on a talk show with a Contax and Ebay went crazy that night!
I think Gene Smith used any camera he could get his hands on.. besides the Minolta SRTs of Minamata fame. Might as well buy some Leica LTM cameras and some Canon VTs too and that weird looking German made box like medium format SLR, whose name escapes me.

I heard he would pawn them when he was short on money.
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