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Author Topic: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?  (Read 96886 times)

Quintin Lake

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Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« on: September 03, 2010, 11:08:52 AM »

It sees to me that fact is often stranger than fiction when it comes to photography and there are some really good documentary movies on photographers in the last few years. Here's my list of what I consider to be the  10 best documentary movies about photography at the moment. I'd welcome any additions you think are missing.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 12:31:33 PM »

Thanks for the list. Some of those titles (and more) are also available to Netflix subscribers in the States. The page is well hidden, behind: Browse DVDs>Genres>Special Interests>Art & Design>Photography (pheeew). Or you can simply click on this link: http://movies.netflix.com/SubGenre?pgid=2416&sgid=2236&pn=1

RFPhotography

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 12:47:32 PM »

Didn't know there was a film to accompany Burtynsky's Manufactured Landscape series. 
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RSL

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 03:16:53 PM »

Slobodan, Thanks very much. I've been a Netflix subscriber since they started up and I've never known this. I just added HCB to the top of the que.

Peter McLennan

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 08:41:35 PM »

Great list, Quintin.  Thanks!   Several of these films are available on zip.ca for Canadians.
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DarkPenguin

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2010, 12:23:43 PM »

There is a point during that Peter Beard doco where I feel embarrassed for all races involved.  Love the Eggleston doco.
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Quintin Lake

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 09:21:48 AM »

@ Slobodan: thanks for pointing out the netflix page, shame we don't have this service here in the UK

@ BobFisher: neither did I till a few weeks ago, it was particularly interesting to see Burtynsky making the images on location and then seeing the final print of that moment

@ Peter: glad you like it

@ DarkPenguin: I still haven't seen Scrapbooks from Africa but I can image the cringe worthy moments

For any completist nerds like me I've seen a healthy discussion about movies with photographers (including documentaries) over at lightstalkers since creating this post: http://www.lightstalkers.org/posts/movies-about-photographers

The assembled list from lightstalkers is below which compliments my finds ...I never know there were so many!

Films:

City of God (Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund).
Salvador (Oliver Stone).
Blow-up (Micheangelo Antonioni).
The killing fields (Roland Joffé).
Under fire (Roger Spottiswoode)
Pecker (John Waters).
The Year of Living Dangerously (Peter Weir).
Shooting Robert King (Richard Parry).
Born into Brothels (Ross Kauffman, Zana Briski).
Frankie’s House (Peter Fisk).
The Photographer (Jeremy Stein).
The knife (A grande Arte) (Walter Selles).
Triage (Danis Tanovic).
The public eye (Howard Franklin).
Positive (Farhan Akhtar).
Girl in a mirror (Kathy Drayton).
Palermo Shooting (Win Wenders).
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (Steven Shainberg).
In my father’s den (Brad McGann).
Eyes of Laura Mars (Irvin Kershner).
High Art (Lisa Cholodenko).

Documentaries::

War Photographer (James Nachtwey).
Strand, Under the Dark Cloth (John Walker).
The September issue (RJ Cutler).
The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club (Dan Kraus).
The Bang Bang Club (Steven Silver).
La vida loca (Christian Poveda).
Contacts, Vol. 1: The Great Tradition of Photojournalism (Various)
Contacts, Vol. 2: The Renewal of Contemporary Photography (Various)
Contacts, Vol. 3: Conceptual Photography (Various)
American masters. Annie Leibovitz: Life through a lens.
Robert Capa: in love an war (Anne Makepeace) .
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye (Heinz Butler).
Paisajes transformados (Jennifer Baichwal).
The genius of Photography.
La ciudad de los fotógrafos (Sebastián Moreno).
Stranger with a camera (Elizabeth Barret).
An unlikely weapon (Susan Morgan Cooper).
William Eggleston in the Real World (Michael Almereyda).
An American Journey: In Robert Frank’s Footsteps.
The Photographers Series: Debbie Fleming Caffery.
Berenice Abbott: A View of the 20th Century.
Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project.
The Decisive Moment (Henri Cartier-Bresson).
Pictures from a Revolution (Susan Meiselas).
Helmut Newton: Frames from the Edge.
Toward the Margin of Life (Cornell Capa).
The Adventure of Photography (Various).
   Aaron Siskind.
What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann.
American Masters – Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light.
Masters of Photography – Diane Arbus.
Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Masters of Photography – André Kertesz.
W. Eugene Smith: Photography Made Difficult.
Masters of Photography – Edward Steichen.
American Masters – Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye.
John Szarkowski: A Life in Photography.
Peter Beard: Scrapbooks From Africa & Beyond.
American Photography (Various). Half Past Autumn – The Life and Works of Gordon Parks.
National Geographic’s The Photographers (Various).
Ansel Adams – A Documentary Film.
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Lightbox

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010, 05:20:51 AM »

Not sure if these have been mentioned anywhere above, "Master Photographers" was a series aired by the BBC in 1983, here's the Youtube playlist -

http://www.youtube.com/user/Rangefindergeneral#g/p

Enjoy.

Rob C

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 05:10:29 PM »

Fascinating, Lightbox, thanks very much!

Rob C

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2010, 01:15:39 PM »

@ Slobodan: thanks for pointing out the netflix page, shame we don't have this service here in the UK

@ BobFisher: neither did I till a few weeks ago, it was particularly interesting to see Burtynsky making the images on location and then seeing the final print of that moment

@ Peter: glad you like it

@ DarkPenguin: I still haven't seen Scrapbooks from Africa but I can image the cringe worthy moments

For any completist nerds like me I've seen a healthy discussion about movies with photographers (including documentaries) over at lightstalkers since creating this post: http://www.lightstalkers.org/posts/movies-about-photographers

The assembled list from lightstalkers is below which compliments my finds ...I never know there were so many!

Films:

City of God (Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund).
Salvador (Oliver Stone).
Blow-up (Micheangelo Antonioni).
The killing fields (Roland Joffé).
Under fire (Roger Spottiswoode)
Pecker (John Waters).
The Year of Living Dangerously (Peter Weir).
Shooting Robert King (Richard Parry).
Born into Brothels (Ross Kauffman, Zana Briski).
Frankie’s House (Peter Fisk).
The Photographer (Jeremy Stein).
The knife (A grande Arte) (Walter Selles).
Triage (Danis Tanovic).
The public eye (Howard Franklin).
Positive (Farhan Akhtar).
Girl in a mirror (Kathy Drayton).
Palermo Shooting (Win Wenders).
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (Steven Shainberg).
In my father’s den (Brad McGann).
Eyes of Laura Mars (Irvin Kershner).
High Art (Lisa Cholodenko).

Documentaries::

War Photographer (James Nachtwey).
Strand, Under the Dark Cloth (John Walker).
The September issue (RJ Cutler).
The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club (Dan Kraus).
The Bang Bang Club (Steven Silver).
La vida loca (Christian Poveda).
Contacts, Vol. 1: The Great Tradition of Photojournalism (Various)
Contacts, Vol. 2: The Renewal of Contemporary Photography (Various)
Contacts, Vol. 3: Conceptual Photography (Various)
American masters. Annie Leibovitz: Life through a lens.
Robert Capa: in love an war (Anne Makepeace) .
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye (Heinz Butler).
Paisajes transformados (Jennifer Baichwal).
The genius of Photography.
La ciudad de los fotógrafos (Sebastián Moreno).
Stranger with a camera (Elizabeth Barret).
An unlikely weapon (Susan Morgan Cooper).
William Eggleston in the Real World (Michael Almereyda).
An American Journey: In Robert Frank’s Footsteps.
The Photographers Series: Debbie Fleming Caffery.
Berenice Abbott: A View of the 20th Century.
Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project.
The Decisive Moment (Henri Cartier-Bresson).
Pictures from a Revolution (Susan Meiselas).
Helmut Newton: Frames from the Edge.
Toward the Margin of Life (Cornell Capa).
The Adventure of Photography (Various).
   Aaron Siskind.
What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann.
American Masters – Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light.
Masters of Photography – Diane Arbus.
Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Masters of Photography – André Kertesz.
W. Eugene Smith: Photography Made Difficult.
Masters of Photography – Edward Steichen.
American Masters – Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye.
John Szarkowski: A Life in Photography.
Peter Beard: Scrapbooks From Africa & Beyond.
American Photography (Various). Half Past Autumn – The Life and Works of Gordon Parks.
National Geographic’s The Photographers (Various).
Ansel Adams – A Documentary Film.

Don't forget the Hitchcock classic Rear Window, with Jimmy Stewart.
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Rob C

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2010, 03:14:24 PM »

Huge list of interesting conversations, but the problem is finding videos to watch. Reading is a poor second-best when it comes to photography.

Perhaps that will be one of the new great leaps forward: online documentaries at your request!

Rob C

PhillyPhotographer

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2010, 12:35:45 AM »

PhillyPhotographer

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2010, 11:05:38 AM »

A couple others that I enjoyed.


Sally Mann - What Remains
Trent Parke - Dreamlives
William Klein - Out Of Nessesity

Quintin Lake

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2010, 09:29:27 PM »

@ PhillyPhotographer thanks for the info. Online I found Trent Park Dream lives here and a trailer for William Klein - Out Of Necessity here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4wieOa_Kog and Stray dog of tokyo trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZxLA02ZfA0
 
I found some real goodies "Visions and Images, American Photographers on Photography "  1980's interviews with:

Elliot Erwitt

Garry Winogrand

Cornell Capa, Burk Uzzle

Joel Meyerowitz

Horst P Horst

Frederick Sommer

Harry Callahan

Duane Michals

Barbara Morgan

Arnold Newman

digitised by Duke university full length all on youtube here:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=visions+and+images+DukeLibDigitalColl+&aq=f
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DarkPenguin

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2010, 10:11:48 PM »

The art 21 series also has a handful of photographers.  A worthwhile series in general.
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palmerson

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2011, 05:36:10 PM »

There is a doc called "worldartstar" about Miroslav Tichy wich can really teach you a lot about the art world :)

MichaelChmilar

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2011, 06:30:01 PM »

"Visions of Light" is a fantastic documentary about cinematography.

Although it is devoted to moving pictures, there is still plenty of meat in it for still photographers.

I have found that the documentaries of Manufactured Landscapes and William Eggleston in the Real World were not very revealing about the photographers, their work, or their craft. They just kind of follow the photographers around while they make some photos. I find it much more instructive to look through the actual photographs made by these gentlemen.
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sms60

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2011, 03:06:08 PM »

A few more that I didn't see listed:

"Ron Haviv - Freelance in a World at Risk".  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6jn-T74inE (Full)
Similar to War Photographer but with less production polish.  National Geographic documentary.

Lomo Documentary "The Lomo Camera-Shoot from the Hip." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd-fufbjeo0 (Part 1 Full)
BBC documentary.

"At Close Range"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0SgFMN1NjU  (Trailer)
PBS documentary on National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore.

"Vietnam's Unseen War-Pictures from the Other Side"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZcxwtKp7BM (Full)
National Geographic documentary.
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WalterEG

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Re: Best Documentary Movies About Photography & Photographers?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2011, 07:36:43 PM »

Last Friday night free-to-air telly here in Oz screened (again) "The Eloquent Nude" which is a 60 minute interview doco with Charis Wilson-Weston which gave great insight into the working relationship between these two abundantly creative minds.  A lot of the material centred around their Guggenheim project, "California and the West".  I have a second edition copy of the book they produced and her writing is as crafted and wonderful as EW's images.

Cheers,

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