Friday Photos: True Hollywood Confessions

Days of Heaven, 1978
“At [director Terence] Malick’s insistence certain parts of the film were made at what he calls the ‘magic hour’, that is, the time between sunset and nightfall. From the point of view of luminosity, this period lasts about twenty minutes, so that calling it a ‘magic hour’ is an optimistic euphemism.
The light really was very beautiful, but we had little time to film scenes of long duration. All day we would work to get the actors and the camera ready; as soon as the sun had set we had to shoot quickly, not losing a moment. For these few minutes the light is truly magical, because no one knows where it is coming from. The sun is not to be seen, but the sky can be bright, and the blue of the atmosphere undergoes strange mutations.
Malick’s intuition and daring probably made these scenes the most interesting ones visually in the film. And it takes daring to convince the Hollywood old guard that the shooting day should last only twenty minutes. Even though we took advantage of this short space of time with a kind of frenzy, we often had to finish the scene the next day at the same time, because night would fall inexorably. Each day, like Joshua in the Bible, Malick wanted to stop the sun in its imperturbable course so as to go on shooting.”
-excerpted from A Man with a Camera, by Néstor Almendros

Gerrit Dou
Woman Pouring Water into a Jar
Oil on panel, 36 x 27 cm.
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Photo by Masao Yamamoto


Erwin Blumenfeld, Advertisement for Dana Perfumes, 1950 © The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld


Arne Jacobsen (Denmark)
Ant chair, 1955


Rick McGinnis
Tilda Swinton, Toronto, 1992


Varvara Stepanova, Constructitvism Collage


Bette Davis with her maid Marie in the Warner Brothers studio (1943)
“It has been my experience that one cannot, in any shape or form, depend on human relations for lasting reward. It is only work that truly satisfies. No one has ever understood the sweetness of my joy at the end of a good day’s work. I guess I threw everything else down the drain. I will not retire while I’ve still got my legs and my make-up box.” —Bette Davis


Gabriël Metsu, A Woman Reading a Letter
mid 1660s
Oil on wood panel
52.5 cm × 40.2 cm (20.7 in × 15.8 in)


Thurston Hopkins, Street Games, 1954


Agnes Martin
Blue Flower, 1962
Oil, glue, nails, and canvas collage on canvas stretched over panel, panel size 11 5/8 x 11 3/8 in.


Erwin Blumenfeld, Jean Patchett, Vogue US Cover, 1950 © The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld


Barbara Stanwyck & Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity (1944)
Screenplay by Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler
Based on the novel Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
“Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman. Pretty, isn’t it?”


Rare, Historic, and Deluxe Tiffany & Co. Smith & Wesson .32 Double Action 4th Model Revolver Exhibited by the Factory at the 1893 “World’s Columbian Exposition” in Chicago.


Rick McGinnis
Patti Smith, Toronto, 1995



Boris Karloff relaxes on the set of Bride of Frankenstein, 1935
“The monster was the best friend I ever had. Certainly I was typed. But what is typing? It’s a trademark, a means by which the public recognizes you. Actors work all their lives to achieve that. I got mine with just one picture. It was a blessing.”
—Boris Karloff


Samuel van Hoogstraten
View of an Interior, or The Slippers
(traditional title, given in the 19th century)
Between 1654 and 1662
Oil on canvas, 103 x 70 cm.
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Marc Riboud, Forbidden City, Beijing, China, 1957


Rick McGinnis
Harbourfront, Toronto, 2011


Agnes Martin
Gratitude, 2001
60” x 60”, acrylic & graphite on canvas


Erwin Blumenfeld, The Low cut neckline, Vogue New York, 1952


Carl Rathjens,
Jewish Women,
Sana’a, Yemen c.1927


“I’m an experienced woman; I’ve been around … well, alright, I might not’ve been around, but I’ve been … nearby.”
—Mary Tyler Moore
1936 – 2017


Robert J. Avrech
Twelve Tribes
Acrylic on wood panel, 2016-2017
Each panel 10″ x 10″
Framed: 33″ x 43″


Special thanks to Seraphic Secret friend Joe Huffman who gave us this wonderful American flag quilt as a Chanukah gift. The quilt was made expressly for us by his talented sister-in-law Julie. Karen and I are deeply moved by Joe and Julie’s generosity. Maayan wishes all our friends and relatives a patriotic and uplifting Shabbat.


A wider view of our spectacular American Flag quilt.


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  1. No profanity.
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  1. Shyla
    Posted January 28, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    The comment by Bette Davis is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink


      Davis was not a happy woman.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Stoutcat
    Posted January 27, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    The Twelve Tribes piece is wonderful! I’m not much of one for modern art, but that catches — and keeps — my eye.

    Also, what a fabulous quilt that is. The maker is very talented. I know just enough about quilting to know that that took a LOT of work!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Bill Brandt
    Posted January 27, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    And Mary Tyler Moore I think is one of the few actors or actresses who never really had any enemies.

    Who didn’t like Mary Tyler Moore?

    I think she suffered for many years in the latter part of her life due to her diabetes. May she rest in peace.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Bill Brandt
    Posted January 27, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I always thought of Fred McMurray as a kindly father thanks to his sitcom of the 50s.

    Then I saw a double indemnity.

    Bette Davis must’ve been a barrel of laughs out for dinner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • kgbudge
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      There’s also his role in The Caine Mutiny.

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  5. Posted January 27, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Another set of excellent photos, Robert! Did you create the Twelve Tribes piece yourself, or is it a reference to being the photographer? I love that piece. It has a symmetry and simplicity to it, but variety as well. Nicely done.

    Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted January 27, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Prophet Joe:

      Thanks so much for asking and for the kind words. I painted the Twelve Tribes piece and then photographed it right after the framers finished mounting it. Karen and I plan on donating the painting to our synagogue in memory of our son, Ariel Chaim.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • kgbudge
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        The painting made me think at once of the breastplate of the High Priest. Was that your intent?

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        • Robert J. Avrech
          Posted January 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Yes, the colors of the flags of the tribes were based on the colors of the stones in the breast plate. There are many opinions about colors.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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