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The Polaroid 20×24 camera looks downright surreal, like one of those old accordion cameras inflated beyond all reasonable proportion. It gets even wackier when you imagine a growing roster of film industry A-listers and rising stars standing in front of it.

With only five large-format Polaroids ever made and the film they use speeding toward extinction, Film Society of Lincoln Center is using some of that last precious inventory to photograph directors and actors who pass through FSLC, many of them coming to town for the New York Film Festival.

Over the last three years or so, they’ve amassed some 300 photos of subjects ranging from Martin Scorsese to Tilda Swinton to Shailene Woodley. (Chuck Close took early portraits of Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon, and has taken subsequent photos when he’s available.)

Credit photography enthusiast Daniel H. Stern, the founder of Reservoir Capital and also the president of the Film Society, for starting the project. With 20×24 Holdings, he bought all five of those existing cameras (plus 550 cases of film) and placed one of them at the Film Society.

If you’ve seen the portraits, you’ve seen them in a rotating selection that hangs on the walls of the Film Society’s venues, the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and the Walter Reade Theater.

Myrna Suárez, the photographer who shoots many of the portraits, says the idiosyncratic camera makes for an unusual shoot.

“Usually when you photograph celebrities, you can shoot 40, 50, 100 pictures at a time, and then go make tweaks to them,” she explains.

“With the Polaroid we’re really lucky if we get two shots. You take this person’s picture and immediately you have to show them this huge rendering of their face. Sometimes it’s magical. Sometimes you have to sell it a little bit.”