Paul Morris / Boris Lermontov

Paul Morris recently posted 4 photographs on his flickr photostream. The pictures are titled ex-military and numbered #1 – #4. In them, Paul has posed a naked man with a TV monitor showing images from Powell and Pressburger’s 1948 movie The Red Shoes. There’s no way this is unintentional, he obviously chose that film for a reason.

Paul Morris The Red ShoesIn these pictures the monitor shows Anton Walbrook as Boris Lermontov. In the standing picture (above), the monitor image is 38 minutes into the film, and Lermontov is inviting a young composer, Julian Craster, to work on a ballet score for The Red Shoes. In the close-up cock picture (below), presumably taken 2 minutes later, the monitor image is 40 minutes into the film: Lermontov is watching a rehearsal, and makes a disparaging remark about a dancer who has compromised her commitment to ballet by choosing to marry, deliberately in ear-shot of another dancer, Victoria Page, played by Moira Shearer.

I don’t know why Paul has photographed this man in combination with The Red Shoes , but it might be to do with the character of Lermontov. In the movie, Lermontov is a charismatic authoritarian empressario. His intense relationship with the dancers and musicians that he employs is a central theme. Maybe Paul identifies with Lermontov, and is drawing a comparison to his own relationship with the men he photographs and videotapes.

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