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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life is not like a box of chocolates more like a stable full of shit!

If Marisa Mell knew this famous sentence from the movie "Forrest Gump" she would have surely thought it while modeling for this photo shoot but that was not the case since the 1994 "Tom Hanks" movie came out after her death in 1992. Nevertheless this photo is one of the most strange pictures ever taken of Marisa Mell as a model. Whenever fans are talking about Marisa Mell in relation to photographers almost always the name of Angelo Frontoni comes up. His name will eternally be linked to hers but there is also another very famous photographer who worked with her and was the brain (!) behind this picture. His name was "Howell Conant". Howell Conant (1917-1999) was a photographer mostly working for the ultra American life and life style magazine called "Life Magazine". He rose to world fame when he became in the 50's the court photographer of the Grimaldi family in Monaco when one of his best friends actress Grace Kelly became Princess Gracia after her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco.
So for the January 28th 1966 issue of this magazine the editor had the brilliant idea of making an article about the rising European female stars and starlets. Hence entered staff photographer Howell Conant. He got the assignment to shoot these beautifull women like Catherine Deneuve and her sister Françoise Dorléac, Susannah York, Marilu Tolu, Stephania Sandrelli and many others for the article in an unusual setting. In the article you can see the ladies lying between water melons, around dogs, in the grass, between windows... and Marisa Mell was so lucky to be shot in a cow stable dressed to the hilt in a black gala dress surrounded by cows.

I always wondered how she might have felt that day while posing for Conant. What went trough her mind? Nothing can be deducted from her face which is rather icy cold looking into the lens but she surely must have hated it. Nevertheless everything for showbizz so... Luckily for Marisa Mell this article was some kind of opening for her to Hollywood, which she later rejected, and from all the competing actresses in the spread she was first in the picking order and got two pictures in the article with the most accompanying text. Probably the editor also thought that this picture was way over the top and wanted to make a gesture to the actress for enduring this shit.

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