Here’s an interesting video in which acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (the guy who directed The Fog of War) talks about the issue of truth in photography, and how he thinks we’ve forgotten that there’s a connection between photos to the physical world.
Photographs are neither truth nor false. Talking about the truth or falsit of a photograph is nonsense talk [...] All photographs are posed.
He also makes the point that sometimes photographs are posed by excluding things.
This video was shot by a German film crew in the early 1980s, and shows American street photographer Garry Winogrand at work. Although he died of bladder cancer at age 56, his photographic output during his lifetime was enormous, even compared to other photographers:
Consider this: at his death, Winogrand left behind 2500 undeveloped rolls of 36-exposure 35mm film (mostly Tri-X), 6,500 rolls of film that had been developed but not contact-printed–not to mention 300 apparently untouched, unedited 35mm contact sheets.
Do the math. Conservatively, that’s at least 300,000 pictures – equal to at least two life’s work for anyone else–that Winogrand took but never even saw, so busy he already had been photographing the world around him. [#]
That explains why Winogrand is able to load new film into his Leica so effortlessly while talking to the camera — he could probably do it in his sleep.
German photographer Andreas Gursky is one of the most successful artists of our time, and yesterday a print of his titled “Rhein II” became the world’s most expensive photograph, selling for $4.3 million. Back in the early 2000s, director Ben Lewis made this interesting 23-minute feature that gives an inside look into “Gursky World.”
Update: For some reason the video is now showing as “expired”. Not sure why.
Bill Cunningham New York, a movie that we mentioned back in March, can now be viewed for free. It’s a documentary film about the life of New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who’s known for his candid and street photography.
For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” Documenting uptown fixtures (Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller-who all appear in the film out of their love for Bill), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. In turn, Bill Cunningham New York is a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace.
‘Life In A Day‘ is a historic crowdsourced documentary film that shows what the world was like on a single day: July 24, 2010. People in 140 countries around the world captured snippets from their lives on that day and submitted 80,000 video clips to YouTube. Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald and executive producer Ridley Scott then edited those 4,500 hours of footage into a 95 minute long feature film. After debuting at Sundance and being streamed on YouTube earlier this year, the film is now free to watch. Enjoy.
Philip Bloom recently shot this interesting mini-documentary on Anthony Vizzari using a Sony NEX-5N. Vizzari is a guy who collects photographs and cameras, owns a photo shop, and runs a photobooth business. Here’s an artist, architect, antiquarian, photographer, and storyteller, and calls himself an “archotographist”.
A warning: this film contains a few upsetting images. Vizzari collects vintage “mourning” photos in which families gather to make one final photo with the deceased.
Everybody Street is an upcoming documentary film about New York City street photographers (e.g. Bruce Gilden and Joel Meyerowitz) who have taken some of the most iconic images of the past century. Created by photographer Cheryl Dunn, the film was originally a 36-minute short film, but is being expanded into a feature length movie. Read more…
Back in 1996, National Geographic released a documentary film titled “The Photographers” that gives the world a behind-the-scenes look at how the magazine’s amazing imagery is created:
Going behind the camera and on assignment with veteran photographers for National Geographic, this documentary answers the eternal question asked by the magazine’s readers: “How in the world did they get that shot?” The photographers recount the grueling preparation that shooting for the magazine entails, from mundane details such as obtaining visas to preparing oneself for dangers such as severe climates, deep-sea dives, raging beasts, and local bandits. [...] this video is a visual delight, as many examples of noteworthy National Geographic photographs, and entertaining explanations of how the shot was set up and snapped, appear throughout. [#]
What’s great is that you [US residents] can watch the entire 53-minute film for free over on SnagFilms.
We love sharing about photography-related movies that you might want to add to your “films to watch” list, and today we have a great one: Marwencol. It’s a documentary about Mark Hogancamp, a man who was beaten nearly to death back in 2000 outside a bar (leaving him little memory of his previous life), and how he turned to photographing action figures in a miniature world as a form of “art therapy”. The photographs — which you can browse here — are incredible in their realism and creativity, and attracted the attention of magazines and art galleries.