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Hollywood offers the world a tonic - curing ills with illusions, doctoring reality.  The book FREEZE FRAME begins in the 1960’s with action films like the ’Charge of The Light Brigade’, to movies with sex and glamour, music or drama right into the 21st century with Baz Luhrman’s production of “La Boheme”. It’s location, location, location.  The photographer, Douglas Kirkland, takes us on a joy ride – tinsel town behind the scenes with still shots.

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cover, Freeze Frame

The cover shot, ‘Camelot’, Burbank 1967, introduces the setting for make-believe.  Kirkland shoots the muffled-up party covered with snow on the left side, but on the right, the moviemakers are in shirtsleeves.  Against the whiteness, a red shirt keys the scene.

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Catherine Deneuve and Omar Sharif, ‘Mayerling’, Vienna 1968

Kirkland points out in his introduction – “the 5 decades represent his personal odyssey – finding his special niche in the world of photography”.  He lived out his fantasy shooting beautiful stars in romantic settings - traveling from continent to continent:  Catherine Deneuve and Omar Sharif, ‘Mayerling’, Vienna 1968

Judy Garland and director Richard Kramer on their way to the premiere of ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’, Berlin 1961

From his first encounter with a beautiful woman, Elizabeth Taylor, he never looked back.  His ‘how I got started stories’ read like a Hollywood scenario.  Besides Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe in the 60’s, he also included the history-making Mary Pickford at her home in Beverly Hills.  And he caught Charlie Chaplin too.  Then there are the behind the scene shots of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin cutting up with Judy Garland. Another shot shows Garland singing, followed by fans reaching out to touch her.  But Kirkland also clicked a pensive shot of Judy Garland and director Richard Kramer on their way to the premiere of ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’, Berlin 1961.

Audrey Hepburn, Paris 1965

Kirkland called the moment between a photographer and his subject a delicate semi-conscious relationship.  Who can resist Audrey Hepburn, Paris 1965?

Jeanne Moreau as herself in Alex in Wonderland, Holywood Boulevard, 1970

In 1970, approaching a location for ‘Alex In Wonderland’ , Kirkland snapped Jeanne Moreau walking along Hollywood Boulevard in a smashing red hat and white coat oblivious to a background of chaos.

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Michael Caine, Elliot Gould, Diane Keaton, and James Caan, Harry and Walter Go to New York, Burbank Studios 1975

A totally different take inside is a colorful costume shot with Michael Caine, Elliot Gould, Diane Keaton and James Caan - all with different expressions, dressed in black and white, but with red flowers - a fun moment in ‘Harry And Walter Go to New York’, for Burbank Studios 1975.

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David Carradine as Woodie Guthrie, Bound for Glory, Stockton 1975

By contrast, he shot in black and white: David Carradine as Woody Guthrie in ‘Bound for Glory’, Stockton 1975.

Director Herb Ross lifting Leslie Browne while Mikhail Baryshnikov stands by, in ‘The Turning Point’, New York 1977

Candid shots catch Candace Bergen, Jack Nicholson, Ingmar Bergman, Dino De Laurentiis, John Wayne, Jodi Foster and Lauren Bacall, as well as the director Herb Ross lifting Leslie Browne while Barishnikov stands by, in ‘The Turning Point’, New York 1977.

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Lily Tomlin, performing in Chicago 1977

The list is endless.  Kirkland crossed paths with Cher, Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Bette Midler, and shot a candid of Sean and Micheline Connery, but also:  Lily Tomlin, performing in Chicago 1977.

Michael Jackson, Thriller, Los Angeles, 1983
Illusions jump-start the 80’s with the Michael Jackson, Thriller, 1983. 
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Sting, Italy 1986

And Kirkland helps put Photo Shop on the map.  In the forefront of digital technology Kirkland says, “I use the computer no differently than I once used my darkroom, to etch and purify lines, to lighten and darken shadows or colors”: Sting, Italy 1986.

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Mel Brooks, age 57, Hollywood 1983

He caught Mel Brooks in shorts, age 57, Hollywood, 1983, and Susan Sarandon, New York 1988.

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Susan Sarandon, New York 1988

On movie sets, Kirkland shot still frames for ‘Romancing The Stone’, Mexico, 1983 with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, then with a thoughtful portrait of Meryl Streep, also paired, with Robert Redford in ‘Out of Africa’, Kenya 1985.

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Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, Romancing the Stone, Mexico 1983
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Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in ‘Out of Africa’, Kenya 1985

The 90’s brought the remake of the movie ‘Titanic’ with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, Baja California 1996, directed by James Cameron that resulted in a best selling book of stills.

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Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic, Baja California 1996

A bit of Hollywood flavor sends Kirkland on assignment, shooting a fashion story of Michael Nouri Looking For Mrs. Claus., Beverly Hills 1990.

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Michael Nouri, working on the fashion story Looking for Mrs Claus for Town and Country, Beverly Hills, 1990

Hal Roach at home in Beverly Hills posed when he turned 101 in 1992, also told Kirkland wonderful stories about how he teamed up with Laurel and Hardy and invented The Little Rascals while watching children who played outside his window.

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Hal Roach at 101, at home in Beverly Hills 1992

On another level is the exotic portrait: Tony Leung, the Lover, and Hong Kong 1993.

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Tony Leung, The Lover, Hong Kong 1993

It’s hard to choose from 400 photos. Going into the 21st century the still shots of Moulin Rouge, Australia 2000, and of the production of La Boheme, Broadway 2002, set the stage for more lavish things to come.

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Moulin Rouge, Australia 2000

Working together with his wife, Françoise, Douglas Kirkland has produced many large books and exhibitions.  FREEZE FRAME is their collaboration in nostalgia – a lap size book easy to look at – flip forward and backward - like a photo album – a wonderful gift for movie buffs.

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La Boheme, Broadway 2002

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