Looking at life through a lens comes naturally to South Australian Robert McFarlane, who possesses a keen eye for the subtleties of human body language. Australian art historian Gael Newton has said Robert McFarlane treats the theatre and film like street photography and politics as theatre.
A stills photographer on films including Winter of Our Dreams, The Year My Voice Broke and Muriel’s Wedding, McFarlane’s work features in the exhibition Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits, which opens tomorrow at the Samstag Museum of Art as part of the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival.
Only possible thanks to the partnership between the National Portrait Gallery and the National Film and Sound Archive, Starstruck is an exhibition exploring portraiture works in the world of Australian cinema. Starstruck expands our understanding of what a single photograph – a portrait of somebody – can tell us.
Co-curator of Starstruck Penelope Grist says that while on-set stills photography can look exactly like documentary photography, upon a closer look you’ll find stills photography floats between reality and fantasy. The portraits in Starstruck will make you question whether you’re looking at the actor or the character.
To help us navigate and appreciate the distinction between the two, we sat down with a photographer who has worked in both realms and learnt a whole lot more about the magic of photographing a major film.
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With thanks to The Message Pod