World’s Largest Book Unveiled

Posted in Photography on December 15th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Weighing in at 59 kg/113 pounds, and measuring 5 feet high and almost 7 feet long, Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Himalayan Kingdom, a 114-page picture book about the country of Bhutan, won’t be fitting on any standard library shelves in the near future. The brainchild of MIT Computer Scientist Michael Hawley, 500 copies are being printed, to be sold at $10,000US each, with profits after cost going to tax-deductible Bhutan-related educational causes. The book evolved from four trips to Bhutan with a few MIT students. Photos from those four trips are available on this page:

This article from MIT News shows a copy of the book opened, with one of the subjects of the book standing at one end. More coverage in the NYTimes (free registration required.)

Kubrick and Other Stuff

Posted in Film, Photography on September 29th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’ve been immersed in Stanley Kubrick fare of late. The last two books I read were Eyes Wide Open by Frederic Raphael, who co-authored the screenplay to Eyes Wide Shut, and Moonwatcher’s Memoir – A Diary of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Dan Richter, the mime who Kubrick hired to choreograph the Dawn of Man sequence and play Moonwatcher in 2001. The Richter book fascinated me, bringing me behind the scenes of the making of this now famous sequence in my favorite movie of all time.

Tonight I watched Vivian Kubrick’s 35 minute documentary, The Making of The Shining, filmed when she was 17 years old. Stanley is featured in many scenes, including some startling scenes with Shelly Duvall. Together with these two books and the recent documentary about him, made by Jan Harlan, his long time executive producer and brother-in-law, Kubrick seems much more human to me now than he was when he was alive. The documentary is included in the DVD version of The Shining, and includes a second track with commentary from Vivian, added 23 years later, when she was 40. You can watch 90 seconds of her documentary here (requires RealOne Player). BTW, for those of you who remember 2001 well, the scene in which Dr Floyd calls Earth from the space station and speaks to his daughter, “Squirt” – she was played by Vivian Kubrick.

:: From the Life Magazine publication, 100 Photographs That Changed The World, 28 of those pictures can be seen here.

:: Are those 92″ computer screens I mentioned earlier a hoax? If so, it’s a brilliant and elaborate one, because beyond reeling me in, it has fooled Forbes (which has withdrawn the story already), and by extension, Roland Piquepaille. Piquepaille became suspicious, though, after he received a comment from a reader, and began an investigation, concluding that the site is a fake. Then again, Lisa Ciesniewski, the PR Manager for Liebermann, gave an interview a few days ago in which she said the company has 30 employees and plans to open two showrooms in LA and NYC.

What do you think? Hoax or for real?

:: My thanks to those who sent comments about my two recent posts, including those who wrote privately.


Posted in Photography on December 3rd 2002 by Randy Reichardt


All I want for Christmas is a nice photo management program like Gallery.