This photo is on the wall in my study – I found it from a dealer of vintage film stills when I was on the prowl for a photo of Vanessa Redgrave on a bike. Instead, I found Vanessa Redgrave in a pool. Shot during the production of Isadora, the 1968 biopic of the legendary dancer Isadora Duncan, the photo is dreamy and romantic and also just a wonderful behind-the-scenes shot: there’s the movie’s leading lady, holding the clapperboard (it’s scene 82, take 1), ready to go to work for director Karel Reisz and cinematographer Larry Pizer.
Reisz, the Czech émigré who was one of the key players in the British New Wave of the early ’60s, had worked with Redgrave -- then best known for her turns in Antonioni’s Blow-Up and in the lavish Round Table romance Camelot (she’s Lady Guenevere) – on 1966’s Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment. It's an oddball favorite of mine, about a guy (David Warner) who thinks he’s an ape, and who stalks Redgrave around Swinging London town. There are great publicity stills of the then-29-year-old actress from Morgan, too, including one in which she’s perched outside a pup tent, with a portable turntable by her side. Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, the upcoming Moonrise Kingdom) probably has that one blown up poster-size over his couch.