The Dark Side In Color Or B&W.

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Largely self-taught photographer and filmmaker Quentin Shih works out of both New York and Bejing, and clearly has a flair for the dark side, the images sometimes evoking the look and feel of classic film noir, and sometimes indulging in sumptuous (but still deliciously dark) saturated hues for neo-noir homages.

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Dancing In The Street.

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At first glance you might expect a drive-by hit or something sinister, but it was only a brief but intimate dance they had in mind. That, and apparently a hand or two of cards to wait out the downpour. From a photo suite by Christopher Pillitz.

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Kirilin’s “Gun Crazy” Series & More.

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You’ve probably seen a couple of these photos  (the “stiletto gumshoes” in particular) a zillion times on Tumblr, Pinterest and elsewhere. I know I have. What I don’t see very often is anything mentioning who shot them. They’re by Israeli photo-artist Vladimir “Volf” Kirilin, including some shots here from his “Gun Crazy” and “In The City Of The Moonlight” series. Look for more of the master’s work at 500px.com.

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Invisible City.

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From Ken Schles’ photo series Invisible City and the 1988 monograph of the same name, documenting Manhattan’s East Village in black & white photos. If any one of the photos doesn’t trigger a story idea (and a dark, grim one at that) then I don’t know what will…

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Noir-ish Nicole.

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Nicole Kidman, chameleon that she is, posing for Vogue Australia in 1994 in a 1930’s retro-noir-ish looking photo suite that could be studio stills lifted from a pre-WWII proto-noir film. (I believe that’s then-spouse Tom Cruise lurking in the background of one shot.) By photographer and film director Rocky Schrenck.

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Sasha Luss’ Anna In Elle Russia.

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I’ll revive an old post from July 2019: Sasha Luss doing what she’s best known for (modeling) while doing a little timely promotion for her 2019 Luc Bresson film Anna in this espionage editorial lensed by Guy Aroch for Elle Russia magazine.

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Crimes Of Fashion.

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Well, I’d have been happier if it included Jill Hennessy’s Claire Kincaid or Angie Harmon’s Abbie Carmichael, but we’re all partial to our own preferred TV ADA’s. Mark Seliger shoots the cast of Law & Order for Harper’s Bazaar in 2009 in an editorial called (surprise!) “Crimes OF Fashion”.

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“Would you kill for the perfect outfit? The cast of Law & Order tracks down a model murderess and brings her to justice,” the copy reads, though it looks to me like the photos tell a different story, with Sam Waterson’s Jack McCoy and crew beguiled by the fashionable femme fatale, even though she was caught red-handed trying to make off with a homicide victim’s killer golden heels.

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Paris, Texas…Revisited.

Paris Tx 2Cult film fave Wim Wenders’ 1984 Paris, Texas wasn’t really a neo-noir film…and yet it is, in its own weird way, isn’t it? Loosely based on co-writer Sam Shepard’s Motel Chronicles, and starring Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski and Dean Stockwell, the quirky, unsettling, and bleakly surreal movie says ‘desert noir’ in every shot. Enough so, apparently, to inspire photographer Steven Lippman to swap model Carolyn Murphy for Kinski for his own “Paris, Texas” photo suite, with spot-on recreations of memorable scenes from the film.

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Don’t Go Up Those Stairs…

Girl On The Red Steps David Driben

Like watching a scene in countless thrillers and horror films: ‘Don’t go up those stairs’, we’re thinking. ‘Don’t go up in the attic, don’t go down in the basement, don’t open that door.’  But we know the heroine (soon to be a victim) inevitably will, and nothing good can possibly come of it.

Girl On The Red Stairs, by fine arts and commercial photographer David Driben.

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