Opening 24 Sep 2015
In this docudrama, director Anton Corbijn picks up on a single event in the life of movie star James Dean: a famous photo of him by photographer Dennis Stock at Times Square, New York City in 1955. Stock met Dean shortly after the completion of East of Eden and recognized the potential. Stock was not averse to furthering his own career by whatever means. He hired on for a series of photos for LIFE Magazine and doggedly followed Dean, to Hollywood and NYC, to his ranch in Indiana, and even to a high school prom. The result is a series of photos which are famous today, especially the one at Times Square, supposedly one of the most frequently reproduced photographs of the 20th century, according to the press information from the 2015 Berlinale, which featured Life in the Berlinale Special section. As we all know, James Dean died just seven months later in September 1955, at the young age of 24. East of Eden was one of his three completed films.
Corbijn takes on an interesting topic, but it is not easy finding actors to represent real people such as Natalie Wood, Pier Angeli, Jack Warner or Raymond Masssey. Dane DeHaan plays Dean and Robert Pattinson plays the photographer, Stock. Dean’s legend has grown so immensely since his death, that anything representing the “truth” of his real life seems rather simple and uninteresting. Naturally, the film is well-recommended to fans of Dean or Hollywood history. (Becky Tan)