Glamour was serious business then: unattainable by most mortals, but still, we could dream. In the magical images of our favorite stars, dressed to the nines and presenting themselves like the royalty they’d become, we could identify some yearning for fame and vicariously absorb it right off the tabloid pages. Never mind the disparity between us and them. Our fantasies were well-fed by the post-World War II star-culture.
Elliott Landy captured Hollywood celebrities at posh happenings in New York City – a flirtation that resulted in a collection of never-before-seen photographs, now published by Imperial Pictures, Ltd., and aptly titled Opening Night. The 68-page limited-edition volume of photos, all shot in 1968, includes celebrities Faye Dunaway, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Lauren Bacall, Andy Warhol, Dustin Hoffman, Angie Dickinson, Barbra Streisand and Leonard Bernstein, plus many others among the representative glitterati of the era.
“My pictures reflected the aspects of those events that impacted me the most: the falseness and superficiality,” Landy writes in the book’s introduction. “They were a reflection of my inner feelings toward what was happening – a flow of energy, channeled and filtered through my own person.” Perhaps more famous for his photos of the rock greats emerging during the same era – Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and the Band, among many others – Landy caught these movie-industry icons in their most extravagant presentations. The contrasting imagery between the genres speaks to the “times a-changin’.”
The Golden Notebook presents Landy at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts this Saturday, July 4, at 6 p.m. at a release party for this collectible book of photographs.
Elliott Landy book launch, Saturday, July 4, 6-7:30 p.m., free, Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock; (845) 679-8000, www.goldennotebook.com.