Stars . . . Stars Stars . . .
By Lynn McLanahan
The Baroque Treasures from Cine-Revue (1945-1960), Tour Maine-Montparnasse
Going to this exhibit on the 56th floor of the only skyscraper in Paris was a bit like going to the top of the Empire State Building.
One buys a ticket, takes a special elevator, goes through several turn-styles, and suddenly has a breathtaking view of the city. The black and white photographs from the archives of Cine-Revue present movie stars as we have come to know them in front of the camera, and also on the set behind the scenes, contrasting the real with the unreal. The "immortals” of the time are there: Ava Gardner, Elvis Presley, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, and yes, Ronald Reagan are all depicted for the most part as we were meant to see them, glamorous stars full of "le sex-appeal,'' Hollywood's themes and power over fashion become very evident.
The photographers included Raymond Voinquel, Sam Levin. Clarence Bull and Virgil Apger, yet their roles in the creation of these pictures seemed to receive back seat treatment; their subjects easily dominated the exhibition.
In the spirit of Hollywood, it seemed appropriate that the exhibition was surrounded by souvenir shops where one could buy anything from placemats of Paris to lottery tickets.