it wouldn't be make believe if you believed in me
September 21, 2007 8:06 PM   Subscribe

It's only a paper moon - a charming vintage photo collection. (via recogedor)
posted by madamjujujive (31 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
What's the significance of the paper moon? Great pics, thanks.
posted by ColdChef at 8:08 PM on September 21, 2007

ColdChef, here's the story behind the song - but I think this photo tradition pre-dates that. Some of these look Edwardian.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:12 PM on September 21, 2007

My favorite
posted by ColdChef at 8:15 PM on September 21, 2007

Folk art fantasies: photographer's backdrops

In the Eastern U.S. during the 1870s, an immigrant New Yorker named Jose Mora operated a successful photography establishment that boasted more than 150 painted backgrounds. Among them were winter scenes, landscapes and seascapes, tropical vistas, ancient ruins, scenery from Egypt to Siberia, leafy bowers, vine-entwined columns, urns, exotic flowers, Moorish arches, neatly turned balustrades, steps and curving stairs, richly decorated Victorian house interiors, fine furniture and libraries stocked with simulated books. Most of these props were made by L. W. Seavey, a manufacturer of accessories for photographic galleries and considered by some "the first background painter of the world."(1) "First," in this case, must have meant "foremost," for around 1840 Antoine Claudet, a French daguerreotypist living in London, is credited with being the first to use a painted background.(2) Not long afterward backdrops of many descriptions were in general use throughout the photographed world. Artists of various talents were called upon for this work. The best were, naturally, those painters with previous experience in creating similar large-scale murals such as theatrical scenery and other pictorial backgrounds.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:18 PM on September 21, 2007

Nice! Listen to this (or similar) while you watch!
posted by trip and a half at 8:19 PM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is just adorable.
posted by gummi at 8:30 PM on September 21, 2007

I loved these. Thanks!
posted by chihiro at 8:38 PM on September 21, 2007

Your posts rock. Period. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 8:43 PM on September 21, 2007

posted by miss lynnster at 8:44 PM on September 21, 2007

Brings to mind the portrait photography of Disfarmer.
posted by ericb at 9:03 PM on September 21, 2007

posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:07 PM on September 21, 2007

Charming photographs and wonderfully put together post dear mjjj.

Such a simple photography device but delightful, a likeable fantasy, sitting among the stars on a crescent moon. I like this dreamy one and this one.

Those fantasy photographers' backgrounds are always amusing, strange, and usually likably surreal. Touched up photographs of yore can be surreal too, like the Thomas Dworzak ones of the Taliban.

Poster for the movie, Paper Moon. Wondered how it got its name, here's the story.

Melinina Mercuri singing Paper Moon video.

1933 Cliff Edwards ukulele song video by 78man.
posted by nickyskye at 9:10 PM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

love love love it.

I've been interested in these photo backdrops this year and idly thought about re-creating one.

posted by Miko at 9:15 PM on September 21, 2007

When I die, I'm going to heaven with madamjujuive, miss lynster, and nickyskye. Cliff Edwards will be there, and I will no longer have to try to search for Eartha Kitt's recording of 'Home Sweet Heaven'.
posted by trip and a half at 9:24 PM on September 21, 2007

er, madamjujujive. I suck here on Earth.
posted by trip and a half at 9:28 PM on September 21, 2007

er, miss lynnster sorry
posted by trip and a half at 9:31 PM on September 21, 2007

Interesting fantasy trip&1/2, what does it mean?

Tammy Grimes' recording of Home Sweet Heaven?
posted by nickyskye at 9:50 PM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Rufus Wainwright singing Paper Moon
posted by Xere at 9:59 PM on September 21, 2007

Another fabulous post by mjjj. Thank you!
posted by Lynsey at 10:00 PM on September 21, 2007

I guess it means I can't distinguish Tammy Grimes from Eartha Kitt! (But you're all still on my list... just you wait!)

(And I've a feelin' that the ceilin's by Bernini!)

Thanks! Ordered.
posted by trip and a half at 10:07 PM on September 21, 2007

I just spent far too much time perusing these, dreaming up backstory for each and every individual whilst listening to the audio links provided above.

An excellent way to spend an afternoon!
posted by squasha at 10:09 PM on September 21, 2007

Love the variation in set detail almost as much as the people. Just fabulous. Thanks, madamjujujive.
posted by mediareport at 10:22 PM on September 21, 2007

Thanks mjjj. Recogedor is well deserving of a plug - I've been following them for some months. They find great stuff.
posted by peacay at 12:07 AM on September 22, 2007

We'll crucify the insincere tonight
We'll make things right, we'll feel it all tonight
We'll find a way to offer up the night tonight
The indescribable moments of your life tonight
The impossible is possible tonight
Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:58 AM on September 22, 2007

Thanks for all the nice comments and links, guys! It's so nice when Mefi's being sweet and not snarky. Not that I don't love me some snarky ;-)

Nice musical accompaniments! Here's another: Herbie Hancock at the Mt Fuju jazz festival doing Paper Moon.

I agree about the set details, mediareport - the faces on the moon are pretty interesting photo to photo. A few of them are pretty bizarre, leering, diabolical, and scary. The other portraits that ericb and nickyskye pointed out are right on target, the same type of portrait studio photographers.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:01 AM on September 22, 2007

So awesome! A couple of years ago at Burning Man my camp built a paper moon (pics) swing and it was totally sweet. It was great as an antidote to all the high tech loudness everywhere. At every time of the day and night you could go by and see couples swinging on it, kids playing on it, or entire squadrons of panda-bear-suited ravers blissing out on it.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:33 AM on September 22, 2007

These are wonderful, thank you! There's a play just waiting to be written about these...hmm...
posted by ilana at 9:43 AM on September 22, 2007

Wow, loved these. What a great find.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:49 AM on September 22, 2007

otherworldlyglow, love your Burning Man pics - great idea to do have that! Thanks for sharing the link.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:29 PM on September 22, 2007

Love this! (and loved the movie)
posted by vronsky at 2:34 PM on September 22, 2007

Nickyskye , the Taliban Secret Photos link is great!
posted by of strange foe at 7:36 PM on September 22, 2007

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