The "One Last Shot" Project from Toronto 2008
Jennifer Aniston and Catherine Keener
In 2000, celebrity photographer Henny Garfunkel began taking Polaroids of her famous subjects at film festivals around the world. Since then, Garfunkel has collected signed snaps of some of Hollywood's biggest stars. The photographer's work is currently on display at the Walter Reade Theater's Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery as part of the New York Film Festival.
"I shot Jennifer and Catherine at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, where they were promoting Friends With Money," says Garfunkel. "Since photo shoots are usually very controlled, I started taking these Polaroids as a way for my subjects to have a little fun."
"The paparazzi were crowded around outside the studio trying to get a shot of Sienna," recalls Garfunkel of her first shoot with the beautiful Brit at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. "We couldn't go near the windows, so I cleared some space and put her on the floor. I love her signature. It has a nice flow to it."
"I know Johnny because I shot the still photography on the John Waters movie Cry Baby in 1989," says Garfunkel, who caught Depp in this slightly askew pose at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. "He's very fun and very spontaneous. He's up for anything."
"I actually shot this in an alley. There were lots of garbage cans, but there was also this beautiful brick wall," says Garfunkel of Knightley's cheeky photo shoot at the 2005 Sundance film fest. "I like using environments rather than a studio."
"I tell my subjects just to do whatever they feel like," says Garfunkel of her pre-Polaroid direction to celebrities like Penelope Cruz (at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival). "They’re all used to being in front of the camera so they know how to put it on."
"I first met Naomi years ago at the Sundance Film Festival when she was there to promote one of her first films," Garfunkel remembers. "This shot was taken in Toronto, where she was doing press for Mulholland Drive in 2001."
"I shot Jake in Toronto in 2005. He was there for Brokeback Mountain and there was alot of buzz around him," Garfunkel remembers of a playful Gyllenhaal. "Anne Hathaway, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams were all in the room while I was shooting and someone came in and told them they had just won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. They were all jumping up and down."
"The next year, I shot Heath when he was in Toronto to promote a film called Candy. His hair was totally long and he was really into fooling around," says Garfunkel. "He drew on his Polaroid and signed it 'Monkey Man.' He's got good insane handwriting."
"I only take one Polaroid of a subject at each shoot, but I have photographed some people three or four times. With these, a repetition has developed," says Garfunkel. "I have several of Christina Ricci, but this one is from the 2001 Toronto Film Festival. September 11th had just happened and we were all stuck up there. It was a very sad time."
"I shot this in Toronto in 2001. I was having technical difficulties with my camera and the first picture I took didn’t work," says Garfunkel. "Salma said, 'Oh I broke your camera!' It’s a little out of focus, but in a good way. I think it's really beautiful."
"I have so little time with my subjects, so I try to have a brief conversation with them, to make a connection before we shoot," explains Garfunkel. "Jamie was in Toronto for the movie Ray and he was really into taking the Polaroid. He likes to fool around."
"I love his signature, it almost looks like one of those machines that measures your heart beat," says Garfunkel of this 2001 snap in black and white. "Taking these shots is more artistic, like having an exchange." Garfunkel's Polaroids will be on display in New York City until the end of October. The exhibit will then move west, where it will be part of Paper magazine's L.A. Project.
Showing one's tongue seems to be a trend in Garfunkel's Polaroid collection. "Toni's great! She was totally into it," the photographer remembers of this 2006 shoot at Sundance. "She was laying down and leaning on one of her hands and just went cross-eyed with her tongue sticking out."
"Matthew was in Toronto in 2001 with 13 Conversations About One Thing. I took him across the street from the hotel where we were shooting and sat him on the stairs of a church," says Garfunkel of a laid-back McConaughey, who signed his shot 'j. k. livin' ('Just keep living'). "He didn’t make a silly face, but he was really relaxed."
"I wasn't that sure if he was into being photographed but he turned it into this artistic thing," says Garfunkel of Tim Robbins' Polaroid art, created at the 2006 Toronto film festival. "He drew all over himself and you can barely even recognize him."