Montana, USA – 2018
The Jersey Lilly is one of the most isolated bars in America. Passers-by were reminded that the next place to eat, refuel or sleep was once 100 miles away - and that’s to the north, south, east and west. Whilst this distance may now have halved to th... show more
Montana, USA – 2018
The Jersey Lilly is one of the most isolated bars in America. Passers-by were reminded that the next place to eat, refuel or sleep was once 100 miles away - and that’s to the north, south, east and west. Whilst this distance may now have halved to the east, it remains a remote outpost. This is a truly authentic - tie up your horses – saloon, situated not many miles from the battlefield of Little Big Horn - commonly known as Custer’s Last Stand.
I discovered this final frontier jewel from trawling through ghost town imagery on the internet and Ingomar, Montana is a few nasty bouts of pneumonia away from being a ghost town. The current population is 12 and there is no evidence of young romance or pregnancy in the “hood”. Guns heavily outnumber prams in the North East of Montana - this is no country for old men or children. The omens don't look good for Ingomar and sadly the owner - the rather fabulously named “Boots” - has now put the Jersey Lilly up for sale for $250,000.
I found Tarantino’s playful and character centric directing of Django Unchained so entertaining that I must have watched it 10 times. Every actor hammed up their role and the stunning backdrops of California, Wyoming and Louisiana played host to a performing feast.
The film no doubt influenced this shot. In Ingomar, I certainly had a Wild West backdrop to play with and the composition was straightforward with a strong early morning light. I just needed to tell a fictional story that had creative courage.
Some people have asked me what the message is? There is no real message - a priest, a prostitute, a beautiful lady and a grizzly hooked up for the night and now they are leaving. What they got up to the previous evening, we will never know. I think introducing 1930s luggage to the set was a smart idea, but in this vignette the four central characters are the real stars. As with the characters in Django, they just turned the music up, not down. Roxanna Redfoot - as always - played her role with great intelligence.
I have worked with Adam - a largely habituated and people friendly bear - on a couple of occasions. He is well looked after in the hills of Montana and could not survive in the true wild. The money raised from the sales of images such as this will help Adam to live long and well.