Saturday, 3 May 2008

The Importance of Pictures: couples...

A little while ago, I did a post on some of my favourite/scandalous paparazzi pics, and decided to dub the series The Importance of Pictures. Sure it sounds totally cheesy and pretentious because, let's face it, in the scheme of things, the photos were not exactly important...rather they were, entertaining as I like to put it. Anyway, many expressed interest towards the idea, and suggested I make this sort of thing ongoing. I took this into account and started noticing photos of celebrity couples (some fictional). They may not live up to the dictionary's definition of importance but they are intriguing and, well, as far as I'm concerned they're important in their own right.
Brad Pitt, Angeline Jolie, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt -- People magazine, June 2006
This was a monster of a photo shoot, success-wise. I suspect this issue sold more than usual for obvious reasons (being that these were Ange and Brad's first official photos taken with Shiloh for public viewing).
But this also solidified in my mind what Ange and Brad meant to each other (I was always one of the cynical ones when it came to this union). I get it now - they really do love each other. Whether that makes this important or not, I don't know, but all the same, it was a big moment for Angelina, Brad, Shiloh, People magazine and the general public.

Johnny Depp, Kate Moss -- Annie Leibovitz photograph, 1994
"That one was easy to do! Hotel room in New York, I was getting a shoot with him, she was there with us and I told her, What about a pic of you and him together? And she said, Yes. That is the image of passion, they were very, very in love, really." -- Annie Leibovitz.
Nudity aside, this is one of my favourite photos...ever. It's beautiful, and intimate, and downright sweet.

Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes -- 2005(?)
I am aware that we have some very strong anti-fans of Tom Cruise. But don't worry, I'm not here to say anything for or against the relationship. This is simply an observation. This one is definitely an important picture, and for this very reason: it shows just how much one can learn from a photograph. From this, we can tell a lot about the relationship - Tom is holding Katie and dipping her, while Katie is bending her knee and letting it happen. Even if this is not true to life anymore, this shows that back then at least, Tom held the pants in the relationship. He seemed to have made all the decisions etc, while Katie sat back and let it happen.

River Phoenix, Martha Plimpton -- 1989
This was the photo that sparked this whole idea. I was flipping through this months Russh magazine, and came across a story titled Rebel Girl, accompanied by this photo of Martha and River (among other photos). I found myself absolutely mesmerised (I know, so strange it seems like a simple enough photo, no?), and sought to find it on the internet as well some info on their relationship (I had no idea that these two were ever an item, but now they are one of my favourite past/present celebrity couples).
What drew me to it, I think, is simply the fact that it features River Phoenix. His story will continue to make me sad for him and his family for a long time - thus anything involving him that I stumble upon, not deliberately seek out, will stop me in my tracks. That is why this photo is important to me, even if it's not to anyone else in the world...

Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger -- Brokeback Mountain, 2005
Brokeback Mountain was one movie that needed to be made. It was a huge step forward towards gay general acceptance. Not only does this particular photo symbolise what the movie itself is all about, but it shows just how committed both Jake and Heath were to their roles - they look completely into each other.
This was the project that brought Heath and Jake together as friends, and even though Heath is no longer with us, the memory of this brilliant young actor will be forever solidified in the memories of the general public as the legacy of Brokeback Mountain lives on.

The pictures are different from the first series, but I think these are more thought/emotion-provoking. Are they important? Maybe not, but they all symbolise something. And in the end, that's important enough, no?



[photos courtesy of,,, and]


riz said...

My faves are the Liebovitz, and pheonix and plimpton. I really like your analysis of all of them, and the last is particularly poignant.

bronwyn said...

I really enjoyed this post.I like the pic of Jonny Depp and Kate Moss. Annie Leibiwits is a master!

bronwyn said...

Ummm...I meant's Sunday morning here right now, I'm still waking up over a cup of coffee:)

enc said...

They're all very evocative.

Romeika said...

What a great post, I had no idea about this River Phoenix photograph, neither Depp & Kate.. You're so right about Tom and Katie in ur observations, and also about BM shoots. This is when an image speaks more than 1000 words.

Imelda Matt said...

R, you're older than your age! What a stunning analysis! Like Riz said your dissection of the BBM picture was both touching and

Might I suggest you look for the Yoko Ono / John Lennon photograph for your next 'importance of pictures' post!

s. said...

That picture of Johnny Depp and Kate Moss is gorgeous. That pic of Katie and Tom Cruise was also such a good observation =)

coco said...

I remember that picture of Tom and Katie.
I remember thinking how random is it that they are dating, somehow it has become less random.
But I still find them a little creepy!

Danz said...

The Johnny Depp+Kate Moss photo is a stunning and poignant. Very interesting post, great analysis of them all!

bear said...

a picture is worth a million words...

AsianCajuns said...

Very intriguing! I agree with you, that John Depp + Kate Moss photo is so intimate and sweet.
Thanks for sharing!

SICK. said...

love the depp & moss photo.


SKYLA said...

love the johnny/kate pic. i have to say i see alot of similarity between kate and vanessa (his partner) visually. i have yet to see Brokeback Mountain. heath ledger-xxx.

Fashion Ivy said...

I love this post. I remember looking at that people cover and thinking they look so happy and Angelina looks so in love.
Sigh, I miss Heath

Romany said...

riz: thank you so much. :)

bronwyn: hehe that's OK. I think that might be how you pronounce it anyway (the 'v' as a 'w'...maybe, I'm not 100% sure though)?

Imelda: thank you that's very kind of you to say! :) Oh yes I've seen the Lennon/Ono photo - come to think of it, why DIDN'T I include that in this post? Ah I'm so stupid lol.

Coco: oh I know. I remember thinking 'that is without a doubt the most random couple in history'. But you're right it's a little less random now.

Skyla: yes Mr Depp does seem to have a specific type when it comes to women, doesn't he? Oh do see Brokeback Mountain, it's beautiful. But be warned, you will cry.

Fashion Ivy: yes that's what I thought too. *sigh* I feel your pain. The fact that he's gone still doesn't feel real...

Thank you everyone for all your sweet comments, as always. :)

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