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


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

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Har­ry Tay­lor Brings 150-Year-Old Craft of Tin­type Pho­tog­ra­phy into the Mod­ern Day

See The First “Self­ie” In His­to­ry Tak­en by Robert Cor­nelius, a Philadel­phia Chemist, in 1839

Rocks Stars Who Died Before They Got Old: What They Would Look Like Today

Errol Mor­ris Med­i­tates on the Mean­ing and His­to­ry of Abra­ham Lincoln’s Last Pho­to­graph

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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