Bill Owners - a picture of suburbia
May 26, 2004 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Bill Owens has a fascinating series of photographs depicting suburban life in the 1960s and '70s.
posted by monju_bosatsu (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
These are great. Totally brought me back to my youth.
posted by birdherder at 8:58 AM on May 26, 2004

Yeah, they're fantastic. Great titles, too.
posted by dobbs at 9:06 AM on May 26, 2004

This brings me back to my youth, too, but where's the bowl full of car keys? This always prefaced that, at least in the suburb where I grew up, thus making this an image I find sterile and untrue. So, to sum up, great link, if all these pictures can hit me that hard. 'scuse me, I think I'm gonna go watch The Ice Storm now...
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:19 AM on May 26, 2004

Nifty. Thanks!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:29 AM on May 26, 2004

This was the life I lived as a child.
posted by tommasz at 9:38 AM on May 26, 2004

My hobby is drinking. On the weekends I enjoy getting together with my friends and boozing.

Who needs friends? Or weekends?

Silly suburbanites.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:40 AM on May 26, 2004

I'm a fan of Bill's photography, but for my money this was his greatest artistic expression: Alimony Ale, the bitterest beer in America (sadly no longer available outside of the brewpub).
posted by sixpack at 9:41 AM on May 26, 2004

sixpack's right -- I thought that Owens had retired from photography to be a brewer. good to see him back (the old work is on the highest level, masterpiece material really, his recent Milan street images are new to me and very very good)
also, Sofia Coppola totally ripped Owens off for her Virgin Suicides film. (just like she ripped John Kacere off for Lost In Translation first shot)
posted by matteo at 9:57 AM on May 26, 2004

ripped off = homage (?)
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:00 AM on May 26, 2004

posted by matteo at 10:06 AM on May 26, 2004

ripped off = homage (?)

IMDB trivia page: "The painting in Charlotte's hotel room in Tokyo was done by John Kacere called "Jutta" (1973). He's a famous photorealist who specialized in women in lingerie."

I don't remember a painting in the hotel room, but it seems a pretty obvious tribute.

Nice link, mb.
posted by rafter at 10:44 AM on May 26, 2004

This is certainly an iconic image of the times. And the whole site further proof that Americans don't have to travel far to take photos of mysterious, exotic natives and their odd customs.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:57 AM on May 26, 2004

I remember an old story about the barely-out-of-his-teens Bernardo Bertolucci on the set of one of his earliest films (maybe Before the Revolution, I'm not sure). and before shooting a scene he instructs the cinematographer, "let's do it exactly like that Renoir shot I told you about yesterday -- it's an hommage". then, a few days later, "let's light the set exactly like that Rossellini shot -- an hommage to il maestro".
then the cinematographer asks Bertolucci, "OK, but what's the difference between omaggio (hommage) and plagio (plagiarism)?"
posted by matteo at 11:05 AM on May 26, 2004

I recall that his book of suburbia photos has quotes from the people in the photos. Most of them are quite outrageously funny, particularly "sunday afternoon" and "national campers." (he was featured in an art 101 lecture)
posted by evilbeck at 11:51 AM on May 26, 2004

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