In what must surely be one of the more bizarre promotional features ever conceived, in 1983 Playboy published a photo spread by fashion and fetish icon Helmut Newton and featuring Nastassja Kinski – and a Marlene Dietrich doll. The spread was a promotional piece for the film Exposed, which stars Kinski as a waitress and wannabe fashion model who encounters a stalker and a terrorist. Marlene Dietrich does not feature, either in human or puppet form.
Newton’s work is always interesting, and Kinski – who allegedly later regretted taking part in the shoot – looks great. So the images are a weird mix of the artistic and the ridiculous. You have to wonder what everyone involved was thing: but it was the 1980s, and so the conceptual meetings (much like the ludicrous plot of the film) may have been chemically enhanced.
As a strange twist, the man in some of these shots is Exposed writer/director James Toback, who is now one of the most widely accused Hollywood sexual predators (in his case, the accusations reach back way beyond Harvey Weinstein – back to 1989, in fact). His presence makes an already creepy shoot all the more unsettling.