The Heritage Studio

Heart-shaped sunglasses and red lollipop: Bert Stern inventing Lolita

“People are interesting. I don’t know why I love shooting them, it’s just what I do” Bert Stern (interview with Shannah Laumeister)

The Story of Bert Stern shooting Lolita


Settings: USA, 1960

Leading actor: Bert Stern shot some of the most iconic commercial images of our times.  His name is firmly associated with the golden age of Madison Avenue and the campaign he created for Smirnoff Vodka in 1955 is believed to have changed the face of advertising irrevocably.

A documentary on Stern ‘s life directed by Shannah Laumeister, was released last april: Bert Stern: The Original Mad Man

Plot: When Stern was called to shoot the promotional images of Kubrick’s adaptation of Lolita, the studio had clear in mind that in order to be “politically correct” it was necessary to underplay Lolita youthfulness. But Stern could not resist the temptation to be bad. While driving actress Sue Lyon to the photo shoot, Stern recalled that he serendipitously found the sunglasses in Woolworths, bought them, put them on Lyons and instantly had the perfect shot. It remains the image most associated with the classic film today, and the perfect evocation of a middle-aged man’s lust for younger girls.

Credits: The Atlantic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>