Jaeger-LeCoultre and Finch & Partners Presents “The Art of Behind the Scenes” Exhibition during the 54th New York Film Festival

With the 54th New York Film Festival in full swing from September 30th to October 16th, 2016, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Finch & Partners bring together their photographic exhibition “The Art of Behind The Scenes” to the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.

“The Art of Behind The Scenes” exhibition, which debuted during the Cannes Film Festival2015 and 2016, reveals black-and-white photographs taken by some of the world’s most accomplished “on-set” photographers providing an opportunity to celebrate the art of photography and to travel back to the golden era of filmmaking with iconic directors and actors.

For the New York exhibition, a selection of prints captures some of the film world’s most notable behind the scenes moments, from Jean-Luc Godard on the set of Le Mépris to the iconic John Wayne on the set of Alamo. It also spans to more contemporary behind the scenes such as Quentin Tarantino dancing with Uma Thurman and John Travolta on the set of Pulp Fiction, allowing masters of art and film to be drawn together.

Director Quentin Tarantino dances behind camera with Uma Thurman and John Travolta in the set of Pulp Fiction, Los Angeles, 1933 – © Linda R Chen

Partner of the Film Society of Lincoln Center since 2013, Jaeger-LeCoultre has established its active support of the film community and its new generation of filmmakers including their annual Filmmaker in Residence Program, and two of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s most prestigious annual events, the Annual Chaplin Award Gala and the New York Film Festival. In the context of the 54th edition of the film festival, “The Art of Behind The Scenes” further cements Jaeger-LeCoultre’s strong ties with all the artisans of the 7th art.

Following the spirit of the exhibition, Jaeger-LeCoultre also displays a Compass camera developed in 1937. This exceptional vintage camera pays tribute to the legacy of the Manufacture with a further series of classic photos captured through its camera lens in different parts of the world, showcasing locations, which have since become backdrop to the iconic movies being exhibited.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s involvement in photography dates back to 1938, when LeCoultre & Cie manufactured the Compass: a full-featured camera small enough to fit in a cigarette packet based on a demanding design by Englishman Noel Pemberton-Billing, a reality that only a watchmaker could fulfil. Only 4000 of them were made. This exceptional camera featured an exposure meter, range finder, EV indicator, angle viewfinder, telescopic lens shade, inbuilt filters, and a device for panoramic and stereoscopic views. The 1938 advertisement declared Compass the embodiment of scientific system in miniature cameras. “Built like a watch – as simple to use.”

Finch & Partners Corporate Creative Agency is a global creative brand consultancy which represents and advises some of the world’s most distinctive brands and institutions within the cultural, philanthropic, political, and entertainment sectors. With offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Bangkok and New York, Finch & Partners Corporate Creative negotiates major celebrity campaigns, and creates content through events and publishing.

Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Art of the Real, Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, and Scary Movies.

In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, the Film Society recognizes an artist’s unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award, whose 2015 recipient was Robert Redford. The Film Society’s state of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.

The Compass
The avant-garde and astonishingly sophisticated Compass is a camera that has made an enduring mark on the history of photography thanks to its unique qualities. Issued in a 4,000-piece limited series, it has become a collector’s delight since 1937.

Almost a century ago, the history of Jaeger-LeCoultre crossed paths with that of photography. During the period between the two world wars, the Manufacture produced a camera that would remain unique in its kind: the Compass.

The adventure began in England thanks to Noel Pemberton Billing, a businessman and pilot who founded an aviation company in his native land, a freight firm in South Africa and a casino in Mexico. This poet, writer and engineer also invented a hundred or so objects including the plane that would give rise to the Spitfire. In the late 1920s, this brilliant inventor made a bet that he could create a camera of unprecedented quality comprising every possible function and yet small enough to fit inside a cigarette packet.

To develop and produce such an object, he soon realised that he would need a fully integrated watch Manufacture with proven mastery in the field of miniaturisation and prepared to take on the challenge. At the time, the Manufacture LeCoultre & Cie, which would subsequently become Jaeger LeCoultre, already had hundreds of calibres to its credit, including the world’s smallest and thinnest movements, as well as the iconic Atmos clock. In 1934, Pemberton Billing accordingly set off to the Vallée de Joux, where his project met with great enthusiasm.

Three years of development proved necessary to fine-tune the 290 components of the Compass. Launched in 1937, the camera caused a sensation both because of its avant-garde design and its numerous functions. The long list comprises an exposure meter, range finder, telescopic lens shade, inbuilt filters, extinction meter, EV indicator, angle viewfinder, a device for panoramic and stereoscopic views, as well an ultra-light tripod specially designed to accompany it.

While World War II and roll-film issues put an end to its career, the Compass remains a much sought-after object among collectors.

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