Alice Jones: Faked pictures can't shock as much as real life

IMHO

Share
Related Topics

Prince Harry fondles Pippa Middleton's pert behind on the royal balcony. John Galliano goose-steps around his studio in Nazi fetish gear. Simon Cowell gets an intimate wax. I've seen it all.

 Not for real, of course, but on the pages of Exposed!, Alison Jackson's new book of cleverly faked photographs which use lookalikes and blurry zoom lens angles to show celebrities in all manner of compromising positions.

Elsewhere this week, Benetton unveiled its latest "Unhate" advertising campaign, which featured a Photoshopped image of the Pope snogging Ahmed Mohamed elTayeb, the imam of Cairo's al-Azhar mosque. The image was withdrawn within 24 hours after the Vatican denounced it as "unacceptable".

No matter, it had already done its job, causing a bit of a frisson around a shop best known for its woolly jumpers. A frisson is all they raise, though. In the age of Twitter and internet mash-ups, anyone with a laptop and a basic grasp of Photoshop can make and disseminate their own visual jokes or point-scorers instantly. Jackson's faked snapshot of Wayne Rooney trying on wigs before his hair transplant pale next to the footballer's own candid Twitpics of his post-operation pate. It's getting harder and harder to shock. Looking at Jackson's fakes and the Benetton adverts this week was like looking through a window on another, more innocent age.

It is, I suppose, the closest thing to being asked to play Hamlet - for the grizzled generation. Kenneth Branagh must have been thrilled to his tiptoes to be cast as Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn. There's a certain reflected glow that comes with playing the actor considered to be the finest of his generation.

In the film, out next week, he's joined by a bevy of British acting talent playing their garlanded predecessors - Judi Dench puts in a gorgeous grande dame turn as Dame Sybil Thorndike and Julia Ormond plays Vivien Leigh. Marilyn Monroe is played by the Hollywood starlet Michelle Williams, who brings her best pout and wiggle to the role. It's the second film of late to hurtle down the risky cinematic rabbit hole of artists playing artists. Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris was a carnival of cameos featuring Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso and Dali, among many others.

Both films prove it's near impossible to avoid the big, campy pantomime wink to the audience when you have simulacra of real people flashing by on the big screen. And while it worked fine in Allen's charming folly, it's a bit grating in this latest film, which aspires to be rather more serious. The difference is that it's actors playing actors. The cast's suffocating reverence to their thespian forebears - slavishly imitating every last Larry eyebrow raise or Monroe kittenish lip twitch - made my teeth itch after a while. I walked out of the cinema resolved to order in the back catalogues of Monroe and Olivier immediately and spend some quality time with the real thing instead.

Never mind the 7.5p "austerity sandwich" - a slice of toast between two slices of bread - revealed this week by scientists to be the world's most economical lunch. This year, the trend is for luxe Christmas provisions, which are set to take conspicuous consumption to another level. First there was the world's most expensive mince pie, a £3,000 baked offering made with holy water from Lourdes, exotic spices and ambergris sugar, derived from the intestines of sperm whales. With a solid platinum coin in the centre (I'd rather have more filling, please). Then the Clawson Stilton Gold hit the shelves, a pungent, post-prandial wedge of cheese liberally flecked with edible gold leaf, costing £60 for a measly 100g. And this week, proving that money can buy you anything except, perhaps, good taste, Harvey Nichols reported strong sales for its gold food spray, intended to jazz up your boring old glitter-less turkey, at £25 a can. Oh, for the good old days when getting hold of Heston's "hidden orange" Christmas pudding was the only thing to worry about.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: the strange case of the errant royal pronoun

Guy Keleny
Flowers and candles are placed at the site where a refrigerated truck with decomposing bodies was found by an Austrian motorway  

EU migrant crisis: The 71 people found dead in a lorry should have reached sanctuary

Charlotte Mcdonald-Gibson
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future