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New Flame: 1949

New Flame: 1949

1949. "University of Michigan fraternity party." Brothers and sisters and a cozy fire. Photos by Stanley Kubrick for Look magazine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

In the vernacular of the day

Nice Dagmars.

Family Resemblance

My mother was in college in Michigan then, and, rather distractingly, the woman in the photo looks a lot like she does in photographs from that time. Mom and the lady in the photo definitely had the same coloration, hairdo, and wardrobe. However, mom wouldn't very likely have been at any high-falutin' University of Michigan frat party, as she was a city girl attending Wayne University (today Wayne State U.) about 40 miles away in Detroit.

And perhaps I just have Mom on my mind, since today is her 84th birthday.


Not sure if these kids were really any better behaved than the kids these days, but they sure dressed better.

Amazing photography

Certainly far from a snapshot. There is fantastic lighting used here. There are many light sources used and the placement of the subjects were masterly done.

He's got the cigarette

but she's absolutely smokin'!
I guess she's about 83 or so by now. What a hottie!

Role reversal

Philippe Mather's recently-published book on this phase of Kubrick's career ("Stanley Kubrick at Look Magazine: Authorship and Genre in Photojournalism and Film") indicates that it depicts an informal party at the Theta Xi frat house, where co-ed "Pat Crotty lights Buzz Durant's cigaret [sic]." Apparently the human interest angle was that men usually did this for women, not vice versa.
That house is just up the hill from the spot where I disembarked from a city bus every weekday morning en route to law school.

Hugh Hefner

comes to mind and refuses to leave. He was 23 at this time and just 4 years away from issue #1.

Sweater Girl

The tortures through which women's breasts were put by the dictates of glamour in those days continue to astound. She's clearly wearing a "circle stitch" bra. I was a young adult before I discovered it is possible to dance with a young woman and not suffer injury to one's sternum.

Party of six

This was a pretty sparse and intimate gathering for a "frat party" but today's standards are a world away. Still, if you ask me (and nobody did ask me) I'd say it was a 'make-out and smokin' party' (no food and no drinks) Of course with Kubrick directing, the whole picture could have been staged for the magazine as his creativity could not be stifled.

She Gives

Great flame. Peggy Lee would approve.

High School Confidential

First thing I thought of was this shot my brother took in May 1955 at a party with his high school friends. Unfortunately, he was no Kubrick technique-wise, but it captures the feel, I think. Plus we have goose-neck bullet lamps.

Fast forward 50 years

Remove most clothes and add loud modernist classical music, and you've got "Eyes Wide Shut."

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