Hollywood produces some strange “huh?” moments. One of them has recently surfaced. This beautiful 8×10 Polaroid of movie legend Dennis Hopper, who passed away recently, was taken by movie and television actor Jason Lee. Lee is a Polaroid and photography enthusiast, and has worked with one of the legendary 20 x 24 Polaroid cameras. Not only is this guy an enthusiast, but one heck of a great photographer as well. On Friday, Feburary 4th, 2011, this one of a kind Polaroid image was stolen from an L.A. gallery, where Lee simply wanted the image to be seen by others. Who wouldn’t be proud? It is a beautiful portrait. Hopper was also an enthusiastic photographer, and studied under the brilliant William Claxton, celebrated jazz and fashion photographer. Who can forget Hopper as the crazed photojournalist in Apocalypse Now, with a collection of Nikon F’s slung over his shoulders and neck? Why he didn’t shoot Polaroid in that film, one will never know. How did his character get film developed on Col. Kurtz’s remote island? The horror….
I don’t know much about 8×10 Polaroid photography, but am guessing that maybe some kind of negative image was yielded. If so, and Lee saved it, some kind of image reclamation could prehaps take place. Certainly, there is also the sentimental value here, a major factor. As Polaroid photographers know, when you have that print, it is one of a kind, the only one in the world. The actor and the gallery are offering a $25,000 reward for the culprit to return it, anonymously, with no questions asked. It can even be mailed back to the gallery. Just give it back! The heartbreak that Mr. Lee must be experiencing right now can only be imagined.