Emergency *ooof*: Iconic Antics

Ok, let’s make this quick. This was unplanned. I didn’t see that one coming. And I am sure as hell really pissed off to be put on the spot by Mr Armitage. WTF??? How can that be released on an *ooof*eve??????????????? But needs must, and once challenged, I am a terrier. So here goes this delectable bit of eye (and almost ear) candy:

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Dancing to the Jailhouse Rock
Richard Armitage for MaxMovie Magazine, Dec. 2013
Photographer ???

The same day that Mr Armitage lets us know via Theonering.net that he has no real plans for musical theatre (but definitely the stage), we get to see him doing a bit of physical posing. Guylty says whoa. A black and white image of Armitage, shot against blown out white background. A full-length shot – as far as I can see in its original version together with his colleague Luke Evans in one frame. But for the sake of it and because, really, I just want to look at RA and noone else let’s pretend this is just a shot of RA (some opinionated revelations on that, later, anyway). Our subject is pictured full-length. He is placed sideways to the camera. His left shoulder turned slightly back, he has inclined his head slightly down and looks straight at the lens. This is a shot full of tension – from the concentrated stare on the subject’s face to the mid-movement pose of his body: Armitage’s thumbs are hooked behind his belt buckle, and while balancing on the balls of his feet, he is assuming a “rock’n’roll” pose where the hips are cocked forward, the heels point slightly outward (I think) and the legs are bent at the knee. This pose emphasises the slim length of Armitage’s neverending legs, his lean body, his posture control, and even his well-rounded arseitage of which we only see the merest curve but enough to get the imagination going *fansherself*. The tightness of the trousers around the upper thighs add to that impression, even though the rather formal jacket conceals and counteracts *awwww* rather than exposes his upper body. However, counteraction often results in titillation…

This picture is a direct reference to Elvis – the pose is characteristic of the King (even though the younger member of the fandom may associate it more with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson), and here is an image of Elvis doing exactly the same thing, even if pictured from a different angle. Jailhouse Rock. Even without knowledge of the reference, we can already take quite a bit from an image like that. An unorthodox pose for a man who has been known as a rather serious, reserved actor (the word “introvert” has been thrown around quite a bit lately). This smacks of fun, however glaring the facial expression may be. Irony at its best – because the pose does not fit the formal (upper body) wear and this is as artificial as a portrait can get. Noone stands like that in RL – and certainly not at any length of time – and so we know that this must have been a very physical shoot with a subject willing to contort and jump through the hoops. He is playing along with the concept that the photographer has sketched out for the shoot – which seems to be one of overemphasising either physical traits of his subject or characterising the subjects through an overstated pose. (cf. The other shots from the same series featuring other actors)

With a direct reference as in-your-face as that, it is impossible not to take it on board when reacting to an image. By association, the rock’n’roll pose stands for rebellion, scandal even, when you remember how shocking Presley’s hip gyrations initially were for his contemporaries. This is an “in your face” denotation for sex – the forward-angled hips literally push the crotch to the front. This would be even more pronounced when witnessed in motion and not frozen in a photograph: The angling of the hips is certainly (intentionally) reminiscent of the course of movement during intercourse. (Jeeps, I am having a hard time describing this matter-of-factly…) Moreover, having hooked his hands into the belt, the subject draws the viewers’ eyes to the genital area; in fact our gaze will inevitably follow the line of the hand down slightly further to the hidden bulge. Coupled with *that* look, this picture screams sex sex sex. This is further highlighted by the connotation inherent in the pose – it speaks of body control and tension, of being fit and strong, of having stamina and physical power, qualities, that may be associated with a healthy, active sex life. Or it could just be that I can only think of one thing right now… The ambiguity of the position of the hands – is he holding on to his best bits or is he about to open the buckle and… – adds to the potentially “sexy” interpretation of this shot.

The fact that the composition deliberately avoids any context – no props, no scene – adds to the ironic feel of the image. We expect to see a pose like that in a musical context, on a stage, with a band in the background. The pose is also anchored very clearly in a certain time – the 50s. Here, it is completely taken out of that context and time. Acted by a contemporary (to us) actor, in front of a white background, dressed in formal-ish clothes, this could be seen as a comment on the malleability of an actor. A puppet on a string – doing what he is asked to do, no matter whether it makes sense or not. I can almost see the invisible lines, tugging Armitage’s arms to the front, forcing his knees to slack and to stand on tip toes. Or is it a reference to Armitage’s roots in musical theatre after all – something that has come to the fore since his impressive singing in TH? Or – and one shudders to think – does this mean nothing at all, and the photographer was just having fun, asking his sitters to assume a few ludicrous poses and laughing off the madness of it all?

In the end, the meaning does not really matter much. Again, we come to the conclusion that enjoyment can be taken from an image, no matter what is intended with it. Whether ironic or not, we can admire the strength and body control that Mr A exercises in order to create this pose. We can ignore the shenanigans and instead simply enjoy the aesthetic look of a body sculpted by vigorous training. We can let our gaze roam over our favourite spots – be it the round curve of the arse, the lean thighs, the long legs, the smouldering look. We can even appreciate the vision of a well-dressed man if everything else is too close to the pubic bone.

A note on the image format. The original that this has been cropped from features fellow actor Luke Evans next to Armitage. However, the two actors were not posing together in this shot. This is a post-produced composite, as is clear from a couple of differences that mark out two shots rather than one: 1) Evans appears to be slightly closer to the camera. Although Evans and Armitage are apparently almost the same height (an inch and a half separating them – or four centimeters), the height correlation does not seem quite right in this image. Also, Evans’ head looks bigger in the shot than Armitage’s – indicators that the final image was composed from two separate shots. 2) The two actors have been shot from slightly different perspectives. Armitage has been shot from about chest height, whereas Evans is photographed from even above-head height. These are subtle differences that you may not notice straight away. But if you look a little bit longer you might start feeling nauseous – that’s your brain telling you that something is not quite right… (and no, that is not a reaction to a foreign body Luke Evans in the shot).

Without having seen more about this shoot at the time of writing, it is hard to tell which purpose the shoot had. There are a number of other similar shots in the magazine, all of Hobbit actors. I presume they accompany an article on the forth-coming THTDOS movie. Credit to the magazine for producing a shoot that is “organic” – i.e. all images are shot in the same visual style, pared back, b/w (except for the silly red colouring of Evangeline Lily’s (?) dress – frankly, that kind of Photoshop effect is so unoriginal at this point, it hurts my eyes!), with the subjects dramatically emoting/posing. Note the inclusion of the black frames in some of the images – these are the characteristic frames of large format images. Strictly speaking, they are not meant to be visible in the finished shots (you won’t find any of these black lines in classic portrait photography – the image is cropped within the frame). However, with the renaissance of LF photography, the lines have become a bit of a “cool edge”, giving more weight to an image by insinuating that it has been carefully and time-consumingly *crafted* on LF film. (For more on that, check my old *ooof* on the full-length shot of Armitage by Robert Ascroft.) Whether these images here were genuinely shot on LF film, I am not sure. Thoretically the frames could have been imposed by the photographer in post-production – or by the magazine’s graphic designer. I suspect they were not shot on LF film, just because it is such a risky, time-consuming business. But if they are, I applaud the photographer – I love the use of old techniques and craft in modern photography, and I enjoy the added contrast of “modern pose” vs. “old process”.

“So what are your next plans, Mr Armitage?” The interview was drawing to a close and the journalist was getting to the customary outlook on the future. They had already gotten up from the table in the café where the interview had been conducted and were on their way out. He stopped and scratched his chin thoughtfully. If he was honest, he’d have to admit that he still hadn’t found a project that his heart was aching to commit to. He’d rather say nothing – keeping everyone guessing was actually quite fun to observe. Granted, his PR people were getting a bit impatient, they were talking of “deliberate stalling” on his part. The words “choosiness” and “diva” had been mentioned somewhere. Far from it. He was just a careful guy. And with the role of his dream under his belt, he was simply taking his time to check and choose what was out there. Plus, it greatly amused him to see the suggestions his fans were coming up with. The Bond chestnut repeatedly came up whenever he was seen in a tux, and he was fuelling the flames of the Poldark suggestions by lately growing his hair out. (Never mind that he actually just didn’t want any more fuss around his head after all the hair drama on the Hobbit set.)

“Is your new look any indication of what you are planning for the future?” Sure enough, there was the question from the journalist. Now, what would this look be suitable for? He scanned back over his previous roles. Ricky Deeming! The cool biker guy from George Gently. Dark rakish looks with a characteristic quiff that looked quite dramatic on his pale forehead. Straight from the early 60s. Biker feel. Rock’n’roll poet. The journalist looked at him with a quizzical look that prompted him to say something. He raked his hand deliberately slowly through his black quiff and put a dark pout onto his face. “Guess”, he growled, and bringing down his hands to his belt in a split second, he balanced on the balls of his feet in the iconic Elvis pose. He turned to go before the journalist had a chance to react. Already on his way out, he could hear a gasp go through the café. “Elvis has just left the building!”, he smirked to himself.

~ by Guylty on November 26, 2013.

118 Responses to “Emergency *ooof*: Iconic Antics”

  1. You lost me at the first sentence. :O

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    • Oooops – yeah, you are right, the intro paragraph sounds wrong… I was getting carried away last night. Wrote the best part of it between midnight and 2 am. 😀 Maybe I should correct that… because it actually turned out longer than quick.

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      • No, don’t correct it! I just looked at the photo after reading it and sort of lost it. XD On second reading, great analysis – I must admit I skipped Elvis and went straight to Jackson.

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        • 😀 . I am too much of a “documentor” anyway, to meddle in-text after I have published… And skipping Elvis to go to Jackson – *tuttuttut*, say what you want about 50s rock’n’roll, but Elvis was definitely sexier than Jackson. But maybe that’s where age comes in. (Although I hasten to point out that I was wayyyyyyyy too young for Elvis and actually a contemporary of Jackson…)

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          • I think RA mentioned being a fan of Jackson’s and my brain made the connection. /I grew up on R’n’R as much as 80s pop./

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            • Now that you mention it – yes, I think there was a reference to Jackson somewhere. Oooops. Hehe, a child of the 80s, he is. (No offence – so am I. I am the proud owner of the worst record collection in history…)

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              • On audio cassettes. 😉

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                • *muhahaha* no – mine is actually vinyl. But it contains some of the worst crimes of 80s pop. But then I also have some rather cool stuff. I usually call it my “eclectic” taste. (I got rid of all my cassettes a few years ago, btw. Only kept all the mix-tapes – even the ones with half of the radio DJ’s sentence, talking over the music… they feel like sources from the past to me…)

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                  • Wow, this really brings back memories! Thanks!
                    /I had blues, jazz and R’nR on vinyl and contemporary stuff on cassettes – MJ featured prominently… cough/

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                    • Ok, in the words of John Mulligan: “cards on the table time”: I actually had a dance routine to Jackson’s “Billie Jean” *criiiiiinge*. And I wasn’t a fan at all.

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        • I saw Elvis not Jackson even though it brings up both – but I think it’s because I thought of Elvis as sexy and not Jackson.

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          • *phew* at least I am not the only one *ggg*

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            • I honestly didn’t think of the Elvis reference when I saw this photo (by the time I was old enough to remember Elvis, his profile had changed well beyond the early days). But Jackson …. mmmm. And Jackson was surely referencing Elvis.

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              • Funny – Jackson definitely did not come to me until I was writing about the Elvis stance. But that is because I was never a fan of Jackson. Neither of Elvis, I actually remember the characteristic pelvis-push from Forest Gump 😀

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                • I was just pondering this very question — since we’re the same age why do you think of Elvis and I think of Jackson? Did Elvis persist as a phenom for longer in Europe than in the US? Was Jackson more omnipresent in my youth than in yours? I can’t say I was a fan of Jackson in the sense of squeeing about him but he was everywhere, I enjoyed his music and I thought he was an amazing dancer. I remember doing a “science experiment” in ninth grade to see if it was easier to complete my algebra homework with Bach in the background or Jackson …

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                  • No, Jackson was everywhere in Germany, too. But I made a (silly) stupid decision to dislike American music on principle (never mind that my music taste was bad, anyway…). Elvis was exempt from that – he was somehow part of a “classic” canon.
                    Tbh, the reason I am associating Elvis and not Jackson is the iconic nature of the original image of Elvis. It’s probably down to me being more of a visual person than an aural person. I would associate Jackson more with music than with a visual image…

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                    • Iinteresting. I guess I do have a pretty clear picture of how Jackson looked at that time — but then the US press was obsessed with following his various transformations. (I’m guessing this could be part of why FL says the image cracks her up.)

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                    • It’s not even that I haven’t got an image of Jackson at the time. Without doing a picture search now, I can picture him in his black trousers (too short), sparkly socks underneath, brothel creeper shoes on. Red jacket (leather???), sparkly gloves. Corkscrew locks in his face. Abrupt movements, moonwalk, spins… I think my brain is still just refusing to accept popular culture (stuck-up b*tch that I am…).

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                    • I find it really difficult to place Jackson, myself. I wasn’t supposed to be listening to music like that so the fact that I owned a cassette of Thriller that I could play in the house was already a major concession from my mother. At some point in the 80s I heard someone say Jackson had a “wholesome” image, and I thought, what?? I suppose in comparison to a lot of musicians of the time, he did *at that point*. It’s also hard for me to think of Jackson just in the early 80s without remembering the rest (cf. Elvis).

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                    • Jackson seemed to be strangely sex-less – despite the suggestive moves. Maybe something about his youthful appearance and the whole circus surrounding him, literally – the chimpanzee, the private fun fair. Peter Pan. But also the fact that he did not have a girlfriend/partner. Until Lisa Marie Presley (!). That whole glitz thing repelled me. (I used to have principles, when I was young… good ole times…)
                      I have read it from several American commentators/blog friends of the same vintage as I that their parents did not allow them to listen to the contemporary music of the time. With no disrespect and no doubting – that sounded (and still sounds) so strange, so unbelievable to me… I could not imagine that going on. I saw it in Footloose (another iconic film of the time) and thought it was a ludicrous premise. In my reality of life that just was unheard of…

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                    • Well, the fact that you weren’t supposed to be listening to it doesn’t mean you didn’t hear it. It was on the radio all the time — I heard it on the bus going to and from school, for instance (although it depended a lot on the age of the bus driver who drove) and it was on tv and so on. I wasn’t allowed to dance or go to dances, either, but that just made seeing dancing carry this frisson of the forbidden. IIrc the deal with “Thriller” was that I paid for it myself from babysitting money or something — I wasn’t supposed to be listening but there was some other pedagogical principle at work there like if it’s you’re money you can spend it as you choose or something …

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                    • It just seemed so incongruous to me – America, the most advanced country in the world, and then this kind of “censorship”… Although I do see the point of the pedagogical measure.

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                    • I’m going to reply below so we don’t get caught in an unreadable chain.

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  2. The text of this Ooof is as sexy as the photo itself – and so informative. I don’t know if this is a favorite photo of mine, (but one of them to be sure) but this is definitely a favorite Ooof. You can almost hear him thinking “ooof.”
    Did you notice any iconic poses in the other cast member photos? I thought Lee Pace’s looked familiar, or is just a dance pose?

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    • Thanks Perry! I admit that the pose had me in a sweat last night *coughs*.
      As for the other poses – they didn”t strike me as iconic. They are all striking, particularly McKellen and Pace, but I could not immediately think of famous images that they were referencing. Although now that you mention it… the one-legged stance looks familiar. Pace’s backward bend for some reason reminds me of early 80s disco music. Not sure why – Saturday Night Fever? Now, the iconic Travolta stance – that is what I would love to see Armitage do. For the fun of it. Pity that he doesn’t want to do musical theatre for the moment – a re-make of Saturday Night Fever would be so cool (and pretty much of-the-moment… besides, the opening sequence of SNF is one of the best openers ever seen in the history of cinematography. Covers all angles, literally… sorry, I digress)

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      • I just answered a comment on my own blog and said I thought Lee Pace looked like he was break dancing- but now I think you may be right. So I tried to figure out if Luke Evans was doing anything special and I came up with line dancing ( western)- but I think it’s stretching it. I agree to the hilt that to me Elvis (young Elvis) is sexier than Jackson. SNF – that would be hot.

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        • My initial thought upon the Pace pose is not breakdancing but something infinitely cooler – (Northern) Soul dancing. Typical backflip move. To very *very* sexy music. Wish I had been around when that was hip…
          Evans – is just smiling away. 😀

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          • What do you call that kind of move that Travolta did in Pulp Fiction? That’s a bit what the gestural quality of Pace’s stance reminds me of. Exaggerated, parodic and somehow still cool.

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            • I saw that film, but can’t picture that move. I only see Travolta with his fingers in front of his eyes, twisting the night away…

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              • yeah, for me, Pace’s stance at least has that quality of the ironic, exaggerated twist (with a totally different gesture, of course). Somebody dancing the twist but in order to enjoy it by making fun of it but looking sexily from the corner of his eyes at the same time … I haven’t seen the movie, just occasional clips of that scene.

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  3. Reblogged this on Armitage Agonistes.

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  4. Thank you, thank you I really needed that today

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    • *ggg* At your service, MoonRAker… I couldn’t rest until I had this one out. (It replaced the regularly scheduled *ooof* – well, at least I now have next week already written… unless Armitage hits us with more goodness…)

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  5. Really? I mean REALLY?? Sorry, but it’s difficult to cope with a view like this being thrown at me in the early morning right after starting up my computer. I should avoid tumblr in future. Couldn’t there be a little notice of warning to take my tranquilizer before I have to face this? Unnfff. Mr. A. in motion. Very very good way to start the day. Black and white, full length shot, well fitting clothes, nicely disheveled hair and stubble. Fangirlmode in full roar.
    On 2nd thought I have to confess I am a bit confused by the growl on the handsome face as the rest of the pose strikes me as somehow poking fun on the whole event. Can’t put my finger on it – but it’s a bit neither fish nor bird 🙂 Well, I guess he knows he’s hot. He knows what he does to us. He just doesn’t give a nickel, instead: you’re a big girl, deal with it. Easier said than done. Sigh*

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    • Hahaha, I can tell you, i.f. – I had similar thoughts when I happened upon the image last night. I only wanted to boot the computer down – and then *that* happened. Suffice to say, my early bed was delayed…
      The growl on the face – I think it is deliberate and actually adds to the irony of the image. This is an actor, not a dancer or singer. He strikes the pose – and simultaneously alienates it with his facial expression. Unless it is a genuine expression of annoyance *ggg*. I doubt it though. I’d hazard the guess that the dancefloor animal wanted out…

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      • Huch, dancefloor animal? Dear me, don’t dare thinking about that. I get distracted only by the gifs of a dancing Tom Hiddlestone. Not to imagine what a dancing Richard Armitage would do to my poor heart. Didn’t he mention somewhere the Argentinian tango is his favorite? I can see me breathing heavily into a paperbag. Not a nice view. But then, one doesn’t know before one tries. Ok, gimme Richard Armitage on tango. Prettyplease!

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        • Oh sweet Jesus help me – I just had some involuntary stirrings when my mind conjured up the appropriate visuals for the combination of “tango” and “Armitage”. Mind you – if I was reduced to being the observer, then I’d rather see him do some Travolta moves than a tango…
          (PS: I am mesmerised by dancing Tom, too…)

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      • Dancefloor animal, that´s it. Argentine tango, Elvis´ hip-swing or the moonwalk what the heck. I want it, and I want it now!

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        • Seriously – if I had the choice, I wouldn’t want to see Armitage dance a formal dance. Far too controlled. I’d want to see him let rip on the dancefloor. That press photo where he was in the background, leaving the Tenacious D gig in Wellington – I am imagining him head-banging and letting loose to “Tribute”. And now he even has the hair for that… 😀

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  6. If you wish to see the in full article context, I reblogged a posting of the entire Korean (?) magazine article which was posted by liyung0248.tumblr.com. You can find my reblog at http://sahraobsessed.tumblr.com/post/68155418734/liyung0248-from-maxmoive-2013-12

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    • Brilliant – thank you so much for that Sara!!! I haven’t dared peek into tumblr this morning (the noise is too much for me). I wish we were able to read what the article says. And I really wish I knew who the photographer was… I might actually try and get that info from liyung…
      I pored over the images just now, trying to figure out if these images originate on LF or not. (call me obsessed, too) Jury is still out, although I am beginning to falter…

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    • Thanks for this.

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  7. Thank you for another emergency *ooof*, Guylty. You take such good care of us. 🙂

    I confess my feelings on this one are uncomfortably mixed. On the one hand, that expression, the suit, the physicality. Mmm, yes. But on the other, it’s just such a silly pose, and I’ve frankly always found Elvis and everything about him just sort of… icky, so it’s not a correlation I can enjoy seeing drawn with my favorite famous man. So when this photo first popped up on my screen, it hit me in the stomach, and not in the good way.

    But I mean. That expression. I can’t just dislike the photo cleanly and be done with it. So confusing.

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    • Thanks Alyssa xx. I understand where you are coming from. Elvis (and his in-your-face pelvis of sex) are not really my cuppa tea, either. This image works with irony – and then it gets delicious. If you take this pose literally – as it is, without visual context – it’s cringe-inducing. What is master actor Armitage doing, pushing his crotch into our faces??? He’s got to be kidding…

      And so he is. The pic is not funny upon first sight – if it was meant to be that, he would’ve put on an exulted happy smile, a laugh even, symbolising the joy of movement and dancing or the fun of copying someone else’s signature pose. Instead, it is ironic in its quotation of someone else that Armitage is not and makes you look twice. The pose says “I am Elvis”. The look says “I am not”. But in correlation, pose and facial expression say “You didn’t see this one coming, did you?” I had to laugh out loud when I saw it first – and then I spontaneously combusted when I looked closer *ggg*

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      • I agree that there’s definite irony at work here. I just can’t manage to put my feelings of initial dislike far enough to the side to get whatever potential fun or ironic message we’re meant to infer.

        But I guess I was statistically bound to fall in the grumpy minority category at some point, considering that I’ve always loved all of the fan-favorite photos so far.

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        • At least you have a clear opinion. When I look at my history of *ooof*s, I come across as a mere claqeur – I seem to like *everything*. Ugh. Where is my reviewing cap? And where has the critical brain gone? Ooops, was blown out by the exploding ovaries. Damn. 😉

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  8. Don’t mind me, I’m just mumbling incoherently here in the corner. Amazing ooof as always, Guylty. Much needed. Your strikethroughs, they are legend….

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    • 😀 yeah – *coughs* It’s just so hard to repress the truth. It wants out. I can dress things up in a lot of fancy words. Context… blablabla… blown-out… blaaa… renaissance (puke, did I really write that???)… all just dressing up the fact that I devour the imagery, whether I like it or not.

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  9. Introverts have tun too you know.

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  10. I can’t get past the picture. *blushes* sorry….

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  11. Oh yes! yes Guylty!..I love your interpretation, in particular “the puppet on a string” .
    This is such a fun, thank you :* * ooof* 😀

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    • A pleasure 🙂 Of many kinds.

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      • Nice work guylty! These photies were all over the little corner of Tumblr into which I venture & I had the same reaction as you all — all the blood rushed to my head…then other places! 😉 Liked the Elvis comparison as well when you consider the reaction to such a sighting of The Armitage — you know, a little scream, followed by passing out… lol

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        • As Obscura just pointed out to me on another platform – there is a reason why the word “photography” contains the adjective HOT *ggg*. Thanks for commenting, MaryJane, and yes, I screamed and hissed when I saw that pic for the first time. I had to pull myself together and *not* pass out :-D. It’s always a pleasure to see a full-length image – too often the long legs are cut off 😦

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  12. I can’t stop staring this pic. I particularly impressed.
    the latest photo sessions had left me somewhat indifferent – pretty pictures and no more – but with this, I really can’t write what I first thought ’cause I have no “lady words” 😛

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    • I am glad you like this picture, Vec – it’s challenging in certain ways, but I love both what I see and what I read between the lines.
      The recent shoots were directed with fashion in mind, I think, and in that case the brand message takes over from the emotion. There were a couple of gems in the Hassler and Mezibov shoots, too – although I actually haven’t even gotten to my particular favourites yet. Too much goodness coming in. Have you seen the other image from Korea? http://31.media.tumblr.com/a20a3f96445ab92c135cb2c81ae0fe6d/tumblr_mwve7wSNlN1sqmd0so1_500.jpg A veritable calendar shot…

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      • Now *that* one does things to me. O.o

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        • No distraction with irony there. Straight into the feels. Am not particularly over the moon with it. It’s reminiscent of several similar images – Ascroft, Pimentel – and all that is new is really the length of his hair. But I am sure I could wax lyrical about it if I put myself to the task *ggg*. I quite like the atmospheric use of murky shadow in it. And I do admit: It does the trick beautifully *ahem*

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      • I particularly like the look in his eyes. Thanks for sharing 😀

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  13. Should I say it? It looks like a classic Michael Jackson move, you know those moves he practiced as a teenager. C’mon, am I right? 😉

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    • Yep, we already established that. 😀 But even Jackson had a model whom he copied…

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    • 😀 ..or It looks like a grumpy cowboy is riding his imaginary horse.

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    • See, my mind went to Elvis, too. Guy always looked like 1968 Comeback Special Elvis a little to me. Obviously I can see Jackson, too, now that you mention it. 🙂

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      • Oh my goodness, Jazzbaby!!! I just had to look up Comeback Special – and I totally see what you mean. That shiny leather. The black hair, the lock on the forehead. I wonder whether that was indeed a reference point for the costume design in RH 1+2?

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        • http://www.boldoutlaw.com/robint/francestempest.html

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          • Oh brilliant. Thanks for that Serv. Very interesting. And no – no Comeback Special 68. But I love this quote re. Armitage: “He loved black leather. He wasn’t getting out of that, no matter what.”

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            • I’ve always thought that very revealing (and it squares with his comments in 2006 that he wore leather trousers well after it was fashionable).

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              • Revealing is an interesting choice of words 😀 But I find that interesting also in relation to the neverending collection of leather jackets that Mr A seems to amass…

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            • I also think that those things were in the air. Even if you find the originator of something or other (a task historians are obsessed with), one can’t necessarily assume that an original creation is somehow abstracted from the period in which it manifests itself …

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              • You mean, it originated without reference to possible precursors? Absolutely.

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                • yeah, or that it’s intelligible as a transgression because of other stuff in the air at the moment that only tangentially references. It seems striking and new but it isn’t really. The thing w/Elvis, too, is that he was transgressive for a particular audience. There were other audiences that found him boring and/or meaningless; they’d already been there. African-Americans, for instance.

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    • that’s what I thought, too. He could have put his hand directly on his package to make it clearer. Except that the photo would never have made it out of the camera because everyone who saw it would have died on sight …

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      • ….definitely me, I would be gone on sight (but without the merest thought of MJ, not ever)!!

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      • LOL – blinded by the hotness of the gesture?? Yeah, a little bit toooooo ironic…

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        • twould be troublesome, I guess, not to get hired because of your reputation as *literal* ladykiller 🙂

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          • I can see the headlines:
            Mystery of the Ladykiller Bug Finally Solved –
            Actor responsible for mass epidemic
            The implications for the world’s population are not yet clear but conservative estimates speak of an imbalance in the gender ratio for years to come after a British actor who may not yet be named for legal reasons has been suspected for wilfully endangering female spectators of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and professions…

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  14. Great “ooof”!

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  15. re: US, “freedom of speech” and censorship — I don’t think Americans’ attitudes on this question are especially coherent (there are plenty of advocates of censorship in the US who proceed on various grounds, especially religious or pedagogical ones) but I think this is one of the dynamics that was going on in the wank about Armitage’s political opinions — the whole question of “freedom of speech” meaning for some observers that people should self-censor on certain questions. I remember interviewing once for a fellowship to Germany as someone who had stated explicitly she was researching religious history questions, and being asked by the organization representative what I would say if someone asked me a question about religion and I said, I’d answer it, and having her say, we don’t want people who would speak so freely representing our organization, religion and politics are the easiest things to fight about. So yeah, we’re Americans, and we’re for free speech in our society, it says it in the Constitution, but woe if you say something we or someone else might disagree with because you should have realized ahead of time that your opinion would destroy the peace. As I heard it most recently, it is ungracious to express your opinions. Impoliteness now being the great sin of the capitalist age (Max Weber said something about this — in capitalism taste is elevated to the level of morals for some people). In other words, people have no problem saying the fact that government shouldn’t seek to control free speech bears no relationship on your own right to decide what you say.

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    • The idea that it is ungracious to express an opinion is just so alien to me. And I am not even saying that that is an attitude unheard of in the country that I grew up in. There are certainly topics that I was brought up to self-censor myself on. (You have seen evidence of that in some of the earlier messages to you.) Point is that there is a fundamental difference between expression of opinion and agitating. (I am preaching to the choir, I know.) I used to believe, too, that people of a *certain* political belief ashould not be given any platform to spread their opinions from. It was when I immersed myself deeper into socialist theory that I understood that opinions should never be repressed – they will disqualify themselves. (eeek, that sounds like a free market theory for the expressing of opinions – I’ll be excommunicated from the Internationale for that…)

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    • For the record — and I don’t know how relevant my childhood experiences are as a data point, because you must take it all through the filter of autism affecting my awareness of anything happening outside of my bubble — but I never listened to popular music of the time when I was a child/teen. There were no radios on the school buses, my dad listened exclusively to country/western music (which I have never been able to tolerate), my mother listened exclusively to classical music, I was not welcome inside my brothers’ rooms where they were listening to punk or whatever it was they were rebelling with at the time, and almost nothing that my (much, much older than me) sisters were listening to made enough of an impression to be noticeable. I don’t think they were home much. My youngest sister is nine years older than me, the oldest thirteen, so they were all very much into their own lives and their own tastes by the time I came around. I listened to whatever my mom was listening to with varying degrees of indifference and acceptance (a sort of “This is what’s playing, so I guess this is what people listen to. Whatever,” mentality. I grew up assuming it was normal for children to listen to classical music.) The was never a time or a room in the home where there was just a general radio on and playing, because with nine people living in the house, a.) there was enough noise already, and b.) the odds of two people agreeing on what to have on were slim.

      My parents did forbid certain types of music/certain artists in our house, prescribed by the admonitions of their church. I guess this was a major issue of contention with my oldest brother, but he had left home never to return by the time I was 10.5, so well before I was at the age to really be exploring my own musical identity discrete from the tastes of my mother and potentially affected by his influence. My other brothers flirted with disobedience on the issue of forbidden music, but they seemed unwilling to spend their money on property that was guaranteed to be thrown away if discovered (so if they did ever listen to the “bad stuff,” they did it carefully, on the sly, and I was never aware of it.) My sisters were all about following the rules and being rewarded for their obedience. And I grew up in a very conservative area, where the schools had a vested interest in keeping the wealthy, conservative parents placated — so no walkmen allowed on campus.

      I didn’t become personally aware that there was popular modern music I might enjoy until I was in high school, and by then my tastes were very much influenced by what I had enjoyed in classical music all my life. In other words, despite being a teenager, I was a bit sneery about pop music and approached it all with a healthy dose of skepticism. I only started appreciating it very slowly, one song at a time. I still can’t stand just having the radio on because I appreciate such a low percentage of what’s played.

      All of this is to say that my parents disallowed certain music and, for all intents and purposes, this injunction held solid in our household to the point where I never came into contact with the banned material and it wasn’t one of my chosen battles to go out and expose myself to music I may or may not have ended up liking just for the sake of tasting the forbidden. And I had a number of friends within my church who were more interested in following their parents’ rules and “being good” than in pushing the limits. So it *is* a thing that happened, at least in my very limited experience. (And if I’ve completed misunderstood and this wasn’t what you were expressing surprise over, then I’m sorry for the ridiculously long tangent.)

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      • Thank you for that, Alyssa, and yes, that was what I was surprised about – parents disallowing certain music or parts of popular culture. It is hugely interesting for me to read about your experiences. As I said before, that kind of reality just seemed so incongruous with my image of the US. You know, the progressive, open-minded, everything-is-possible mentality that is associated with the US. I spent some time studying in the US and learnt to understand then that there is a huge difference between urban and rural/small town society in the US. I think what it also comes down to is that I would have never seen music as dangerous – it is mere entertainment. I just can’t see how that can corrupt people (mind you, that was *before* naked Miley Cyrus antics… I can definitely see how some people see that kind of stuff as inappropriate for some age-groups).

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        • Progressive and open-minded? Heh, yeah, that’s not congruous with any America that *I’m* familiar with. From where I sit, we’re rather Puritanical and quick to judge. And at least within the community where I grew up (which was not a small town or rural by any means), the parents foolishly believe they can prevent their children from thinking about the whole sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll scene by banning any mention of those things in the home. There are still many parts of the country where sex ed is optional and parents forbid their children from taking it because they believe the only right thing to teach is abstinence, and that if their children are told about sex and their bodies, it will lead to promiscuity and teen pregnancy (never mind that studies show the exact opposite to be true.)

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      • I can relate. The only music allowed in our house was church music or classical music. I lived in the suburbs of a mid-sized city in western NYS. In addition I wasn’t allowed to go to movies. Television was severely restricted. So guylty there was no “progressive, open-minded, everything-is-possible mentality” anywhere near our home.

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        • Thanks for sharing – as I said, it still astonishes me to hear this. From so many women.
          Do you think it is generational, though? Is it still going on or has that passed now?

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          • My impression, for what it’s worth, is that it still continues. My nieces are being raised a few ticks more conservatively than I was in that regard, and I see a lot of signs of it in other places, churches I’m familar with, and so on.

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          • I think it is still going on. In fact in my age group and where I lived at that time I was the exception. Now, my son is in his twenties (and he was raised with a great deal of freedom) knows many 20 something females who are at least as “protected” as I was if not more so. I believe religion plays a part as well as cultural influences.

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        • I am glad to know that I was not the only one in the world to feel as if I could not do anything. Church music only ( no classical) there was times there was no TV. No dances, no movies no dating, no nothing. But I was a silent wild child, I listen to that evil music very quietly and loved it. I also had great set of grandparents (mom’s parents) who let me listen to the music and watch TV ( thanks to them I got to see Benny Hill and started this love of most things British).

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  16. I think I enjoyed your *ooof* more than I initially did the photograph. Something about it struck me as awkward or even as trying too hard. I like it better now that you’ve shared your thoughts. The photo with both Luke and Richard really bothered me and now you’ve explained why. Thank you! I look forward to reading your *ooof* every week!

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    • Thank you, Richardtreehouse – glad if I cleared some stuff up. Of course, my opinion is not decisive or prescriptive. I go off on tangents and I am guided by own subjective life experiences. The aim is to promote the enjoyment of photography, and to learn how to “read” a photograph… Thanks for sharing your thoughts – and I hope we’ll read more from you 🙂

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  17. Hell yeah! That took a while to read all this!! I mean, I hardly can’t even now destract my eyes from this “Sahnestückchen” for more than only seconds. Really, this time it took me ages to work (stare me) through your essay, Guylty!! Although it is packed with loads of excitement (I can feel it!) and cues and hints, or maybe excactly because of all this ideas my fantasy has run riot, or let’s be honest, my brain’s gone AWOL leaving me all in a puddle of.. aka in front of the screen… Rock’Roll Baby, Yep! I can see you moving those hips…….

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  18. Thanks Guylty! That was most delightful and insightful. Now when I get caught staring I’ll talk about ‘Iconic’ moments in photography and mention Elvis and Jackson and no one will think I’m weird, just smart.

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    • Yup, Carly, just dressing up the drooling in fancy words. You got me down to the tee :-D. It’s a strategy that works surprisingly well. You all think I am interested in the photography? Ha! 😉

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  19. Thank you for the *ooof* day sexy Tuesday. Enjoyed reading the comments. We have talked before about my lack of being able to listen to the music of the day (80’s) without doing very very quietly. I really not sure why this was other than the church my parents when to, because my mom liked Elvis when she was a teen in the 50’s.

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    • Yep, the conversation with you was what I had in mind re. no pop music… It’s an example how the comment section in blogs is almost more interesting than the posts themselves. It’s where the real people are. x

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  20. your site’s banner unsettles me.

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  21. Blast it! It’s never too late or too often. Have I told before? He’s so friggin’ unbelievable gorgeous!!!!!! WTH, it needed to be said again… and again….. 😀

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  22. […] *ooof* treatment previously, and the wonderful sexy Elvis/Jackson move which had to be emergency *ooof*ed last week. It may come to you as a surprise, that I am yet again foregoing the chance to discuss my personal […]

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  23. […] that it comes from the same source as the delicious Elvis/Jackson tease from my most recent emergency *ooof*. There are certain hallmarks there: White blown-out background, long depth-of-field, b/w. This […]

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  24. […] Emergency *ooof*: Iconic Antics. November 26, 2006. Was Armitage channeling Elvis or Michael […]

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  25. […] Dunn certainly also brings her own classy photography skills to the table here. Her fake LF (?) Elvis shot was subject to an *ooof* in December. She has also proven herself to be quite fan-friendly in that […]

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  26. […] face, this looks to me like a fun shoot. We have seen the first of the four RAs already in the “iconic antics” *ooof* – because this is a montage. Pretty obviously – the world unfortunately only boasts *one* […]

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  27. […] whoever it is that he’s channeling here, it sends a dopamine rush straight to my eyes, ears, cheeks, lungs, and regions nether. Fastest […]

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  28. […] I know it’s Guyday, but I had to post this. Possibly my favorite black and white picture of Richard Armitage. Really socked me in the gut when I saw it the first time, Sarah Dunn as photographer notwithstanding. Guylty’s commentary is here. […]

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  29. […] This is my favorite Sarah Dunn image of Richard Armitage. Guylty wrote about it here. […]

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