• 11.7.14

    Robert Maxwell Explores Innovation

    We are very, very small. In the context of even our Solar System, human beings are such a minute part of the total planetary existence that we’re hardly worth mentioning. Put that into the context of the universe, and we wouldn’t be a footnote. As TIME Magazine reporter Jeffrey Kluger puts it, “There is no reason at all you should care about the universe. For one thing, it doesn’t care a whit about you.” Our presence on the planet is a delicate balance, and any number of untold disasters could threaten our species and force us to find another home, but the closest second choices would take lifetimes to reach initiating unbearable sacrifice and indescribable changes. 

    Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster, Interstellar, explores these issues on the big screen. They are human questions, existential questions, complicated by hard science and the limits of human technology. To tell his epic, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain have taken the mantles of characters Christopher wrote assuming the solemn duty of the future of the human race. To ensure humans don’t die out in clouds of dust on a dead planet, they work for a future they’ll never see and can only hope will turn out to be worth their sacrifices. The complication of Nolan’s epic is the limits of our science, and TIME Magazine dove deep into those issues with their cover story, “The Art of Science,” and Robert Maxwell was on hand to shoot the movie’s director and stars for TIME.

    We know that Robert gets out of the way of his subjects. Even though he is an energetic person, his photographs have a stillness to them. Taking on the sobering duty of saving humanity, Interstellar’s cast stands with statesmanlike responsibility. It’s an potentially crushing task that these characters had to take on, and Robert is sure to infuse that into the photographs.

    Adding to the stark and sobering quality is the choice to have the cover be black and white. This isn’t something that happens very often. Robert’s stillness translates perfectly to the more classic aesthetic, but magazines generally prefer to use color on their covers. Not so this time, as Robert’s photograph had the strength to carry the cover. “I was just kind of excited because it is a little bit more rare to be able to get a black and white image published on covers,” Robert explains. “It’s happened just a few times in my career.”

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