This was unexpected. A mere coincidence or a Jungian synchronicity involving the Kore archetype?
I was in the city yesterday; visiting the NGV, browsing bookshops and as I flicked through an edition of Purple magazine featuring Chloe Sevigny I noticed that one of the shots of Chloe featured two of Garry Gross’s controversial photos of the young Brooke Shields.
The photos were taken by Terry Richardson, the bad boy of fashion photography. Richardson is intentionally provocative and both Purple and Chloe Sevigny are noted for their transgression (perhaps more on this later). I was somewhat surprised to see the images reproduced but shrugged my shoulders and walked away, thinking that it was very like Richardson. I gave it no more thought.
That is, not until I was flicking through my digital TV program guide and noticed that ABC2 was going to show Pretty Baby at 8:30 that same night. This was a genuine surprise. Given the current concern over the sexualization of children I would have thought the ABC would have judiciously chosen to avoid screening this film (it could not be made today). In any case I expected it to be heavily cut, especially considering that it had been given a M rating (the highest rating for TV is M15+).
The next surprise was to discover that it seems not to be have been cut much at all. I can’t be sure. The last time I saw the film was back when it had been released and my memory of it has since faded. I do vaguely remember that Brooke appeared in a full frontal nude scene, although I had confused it with a famous photograph of Natassja Kinski taken by Richard Avedon.
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