One thing I wanted to ask Michael Cunningham but couldn’t was the choice of actress type for the role of Clarissa. I was watching Annie Leibovitz doing this interview, and then I went to read about her and found out that she and Susan Sontag were an item for a long time. I don’t know at which point I remembered that in The Hours the blond Clarissa has got a brunette partner, but it made me wonder if this relationship between two remarkable women made its way into the novel, or the film. For Meryl Streep, in big glasses with her mane of blond hair, does resemble Annie.
The retrospective of Annie Leibovitz is currently on show in Moscow. In the 1999 interview to Charlie Rose she was talking about her and Susan Sontag’s book, Women, that showcased females of different ages and walks of life, including Leibovitz’s own mother.
In the words of Richard Avedon, paying attention is the most important thing for a photographer’s work. I would also use reference to the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and say that this close attention signifies the level of involvement and concentration that in turn correspond to the degree of dedication to one’s goal or vocation, broadly speaking. You will see in the interview that he was a very bright and passionate speaker. One point I also picked upon was his longing for “fear” of working with people because this feeling was helping to keep the art of photography alive and keep it crucial. Also, that as one grows older, the different layers of life get peeled away like onion skin. “I don’t go to parties because I’ve been to dinner parties. I don’t read magazines because I’ve worked for magazines. So what’s left? Work. Making your work better. And a few close friends“.