The Haunting Final Portrait of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Part of Victoria Will’s Civil War-Era Photo Collection

PSH

No one here gets out alive, but who will live on in the public’s memory?

Last month, photographer Victoria Will enticed present-day luminaries to sit for tintype portraits at the Sundance film festival. The 19th-century wet plate process is ill suited to paparazzo-style, on-the-go shooting, but can produce quite stunning results with subjects accustomed to a prolonged gaze.

As one who reveres movies, I’d much rather my favorite actors be nibbled about the edges by unpredictable, antique chemistry, then digitally reconfigured before a vinyl curtain. (Those unretouched Disney Princesses aren’t that removed from reality.)

There’s no way that the late Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s portrait could be anything but haunting. Elijah Wood, Maggie Gyllenhaal and William H. Macy also appear to have perfected the blank Civil War stare.

Musicians Flea and Nick Cave have got the look down pat. Pipe in the opening bars of “Ashokan Farewell” and cue the waterworks.

Esquire has the complete gallery of Will’s Sundance portraits (created with darkroom assistance from fellow photographer Josh Wool).

via Beautiful Decay

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Ayun Halliday‘s graphic novel, Peanut, is a Young Adult Library Services Association 2014 Quick for Reluctant Young Readers. Follow her @AyunHalliday



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  1. Sergio says . . . | February 12, 2014 / 12:30 pm

    His face expression tells a lot.

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