Aug 17th 2010 By Brian Fairbanks
Harold Lloyd was a major silent-film star in 1920s Hollywood, best known for the image of him hanging from a giant clock
. What he may not be as widely recognized for -- and he should -- is the curious collection of 3-D nude photos
he took of actresses like Bettie Page.
On Wednesday night, Film Forum will present a set of 3-D slides
from the Lloyd Family Collection (what every man should bequeath to his kids). Greg Dinkins of the New York Stereoscopic Society
will introduce the screening with the Forum's Bruce Goldstein, and he's understandably excited to share these vintage treasures with a leering moviegoing public.
"This will be a rare opportunity to see Harold Lloyd's 3-D photography projected on a big screen in full-color, polarized projection," Dinkins explained to Asylum. He did warn us that these nudes
"are actually quite modest
by today's standards. They capture a time when naughty pictures left a lot more to the imagination."
Nonetheless, some of them should be quite sensational, since there were so many of them in the Lloyd archives that his daughter was able to assemble a 154-page full-color book (with 3-D glasses)
, released in 2004.
Besides the obvious draw of the prospect of lifelike nudity (it's the closest we might ever get), Dinkins also tells us his co-presenter and Lloyd's lurid history itself is worth the price of admission. "An image will often prompt an obscure film reference or the name of the actress who posed for Lloyd -- and not just Marilyn Monroe
," he says. "Lloyd's endorsement and widespread promotion of the Stereo Realist camera helped establish the 3-D photography phenomenon in the 1950s." Thanks for "Avatar," old dead dude.