The Shmooze

Jerry Schatzberg — From Furs to Filmmaker to FIAF

By Masha Leon

  • Print
  • Share Share

Among the goodies at the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) and Kering March 14-15 premiere of Diane Pernets” “A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival (ASVOFF) was a tribute to filmmaker Jerry Schatzberg.

It featured a screening of his 1971 Golden Globe-nominated film “Puzzle of a Downfall Child” starring Faye Dunaway as a disturbed fashion model as well as more than a dozen fashion-infused shorts by American and European filmmakers.

These included “She Said-She Said”— a 7 min. 2013 short by Stuart Blumberg starring Marisa Tomei and Elodie Buchez as a lesbian couple on the brink of a divorce dividing possessions through meditation, a 2 min. sexy sassy 2013 U .S. “Sister Act” by Ellen Von Unweth and the 7 min. 2013 “The Four Dreams of Miss X-Shadows” by Mike Figgis, U.K. which — according to the blurb —“is an astounding collaboration between designer lingerie house Agent Provocateur and Kate Moss— a beautiful woman’s private dream experiences.”

Jerry Schatzberg // Photo by Karen Leon.

The cosmopolitan audience — which was as interesting to watch as were the screen personalities — applauded with gusto.

During a post screening Q&A Schatzberg — whom FIAF press material describes as “one of the leaders of the earlier Hollywood Renaissance movement that touched critics and movie-goers alike”— informed that “the common theme of all my films are marginal people on edge, misfits, outsiders…. films that make me cry….I don’t think there are any rules involved in writing. Sometimes the script finds me.”

Recalling the making of “Panic in Needle Park” starring Al Pacino, who also starred in his 1973 film “Scarecrow” which won Schatzberg the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, he said, “We went to hospitals, seminars, learned about addicts…”

This being a fashion-fueled event, Schatzberg mused, “Films of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s had more fashion than today —more dreamland, not realistic. The Beat Generation began to dress differently….I was lucky with costumes.” He recalled a young fashion designer on a film who had no union card. Edith Head — [eight Academy Awards costume design winner] who never saw the costumes — got the credit!”

“I am most pleased with my work of fifty years,” Bronx-born Schatzberg told me during our chat a few days after his FIAF appearance. “My father came here from Austria when he was three. My mother was born here. English was their home language — unless they didn’t want me to understand, so they spoke in Yiddish. I worked in my family ‘s fur business and didn’t start photography until I was seventeen. I have thousands of wonderful photographs which I call my friends…and I did not do my first film until forty.”

His favorite director? “I copy from them all…and they are reflective of the many great directors that made films before me…. I don’t think anybody has it easy. People who make little films want to make blockbusters. Those making blockbusters want to make little films.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.