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David Bailey - Four Beats to the Bar and No Cheating
© LuFilms

Icône culturelle, pendant 50 ans David Bailey a été à la pointe de l'art contemporain. Photographe de mode pour le magazine Vogue, réalisateur de films, peintre et sculpteur, ce londonien issu de la classe ouvrière s'est lié d'amitié avec de nombreuses vedettes (Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Jack Nicholson, Roman Polanski), a épousé ses muses (Jean Shrimpton, Catherine Deneuve, Marie Helvin) et a su capturer l'esprit et l'élégance de son temps avec une simplicité rafraîchissante et une vision acérée. C'est également un homme dont la vie et l'oeuvre ont inspiré l'un des films cultes des années 60, Blow-up de Michelangelo Antonioni.

David Bailey, the super-cool, super-talented fashion photographer who was the model for the lead role (played by David Hemmings) in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 classic film Blow-up, is now over 70. He is still active as a photographer, both in the fashion and art worlds. Director Jérôme De Missolz was permitted to film him from pretty close up. We see Bailey in his home, with his wife and children, and in discussions with his friends. We are also witness to the inception of a new photography project on his home turf, the East End of London. Bailey turns out to be an artist with no time for pretentiousness or over-complicated theorizing about his art. "Four beats to the bar and no cheating" is one of his favourite quotations from his hero Count Basie. In his photographs, this approach leads to the transparent style for which he has become famous. If possible, we can even forget we are looking at a photo, let alone a beautiful, exceptionally composed or creatively arranged photo. All we see is the person Bailey has photographed, in all his or her nakedness. Bailey's admirers also give their views, including his ex-wife Catherine Deneuve. No, he ever learned a word of French throughout their marriage. This is typical of the man: a rough diamond, even in his seventies