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on 13 February 2006
From the front cover shot of an empty red carpet, to Angelina Jolie’s vacant gaze from the back of her limo, through the junk merchandise and celebrity junkets in between, Jocelyn Bain Hogg’s stunning photo essay throws a penetrating spotlight on our seemingly infinite capacity for celebrity worship. His probing images are skilfully interwoven with the testimonies of people inside the fame machine – actors, performers, genuine legends and wannabes yearning to join the spangle-heeled throng. Highlights include the acutely observed prose-poem “What You See Is What You Get” by prog-rock icon Peter Hammill; a masterclass in attention-grabbing by outspoken playwright and performer Tim Fountain; the touchingly delusional story of Superman lookalike and acting hopeful Christopher Dennis; a revealing essay on the making of stars and their stories by Harper’s Bazaar’s Sarah Bailey; and an unsettling insight into the psychology of celebrity culture by Priory psychotherapist Sarah Hirigoyen. A brilliant antidote to the pointless and poisonous mindset of reality TV and celebrity lifestyle magazines, and a coffee-table photo book that you will actually want to pore over and read. The anti-celeb backlash starts here!
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on 16 March 2006
I really enjoyed this book. The photographs are excellent and it is unusual to find a photographer who shoots as well in both colour and black and white.This is not paparazzi but a well observed view of our pathetic celebrity obsessed culture. Not only did I enjoy the images but also the ironic observations.
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on 29 March 2006
Jocelyn Bain Hogg's look into the world of celebrity is 'red hot'; a truly unique take on the state of the industry today from those people who know what it is all about. No other star related title comes close. It is everything that a photo book should be: incredible imagery with good caption info and indepth text. Well done to all concerned: the publisher Intervalles and British printing company Butler and Tanner for their part in what is in my opinion the best book of 2006.
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I am a big fan of Jocelyn Bain Hogg's book The Firm, and of much of his other work (particularly his recent photography of British Youth), and so was quite excited to get a copy of this book. But I'm afraid it didn't really do anything for me. There are some nice photos in here, and some pretty mediocre ones, all tied together by the idea that they are a critique of our obsession with celebrity and fame. To me, it all seemed a little bit too obvious, and didn't add anything to what I already know. The short essays which are interspersed between the photos were mostly similarly throwaway. I'm quite glad to have the (gorgeously produced) book in my collection, but I don't think I'll be referring back to it much in the future.
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