Publisher: Distributed Art Publishers (1999)
Hardcover, 144 pages
11.3 x 10.4 x 0.8 in.
The Hollywood depicted in John Swope's photographs from the late 1930s is a working town not unlike others in America -- its main difference being that in place of town mill or factory, one finds instead the movie studios. Paradoxically, it is this ordinary, almost mundane, quality of the sets, the props, the extras knitting backstage between takes, and the celebrity dutifully signing autographs, that makes Swope's Hollywood so compelling. Just as Robert Frank, in The Americans, captured with unsentimental ease that essential loneliness of American life and character, so Swope reveals a Hollywood in the wake of the Depression not as glittering or remote, but as gritty and workaday. Swope, as an insider who also acted, was intimate with the famous, and thus had considerable access to that world. But this was also a time when celebrities were in the local Shriner's parade, and were known to chat with the cameramen. A vintage look at a bygone era from Hollywood's past.
Introduction by Dennis Hopper and essay by Graham Howe