Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Finding Vivian Maier" - the movie

A few days before I left for Berlin I had heard a report on the radio about the movie „Finding Vivian Maier“. I have written about my fascination with her photos before, and this has not changed.
When I heard about the movie, I immediately knew that it would be highly unlikely this film would ever come to the theatre in my town. So I decided that I would spend at least one evening in Berlin seeing this film. (The official website for Vivian Maier with lots of interesting information can be found here.  )
I was lucky in that I happened to see a poster announcing the showing of the film during my wanderings through Berlin, even before I had started to look for it. So after setting up my stall on Friday afternoon I went to see it.

I am glad I got to do so – although I think it could have been a much better made picture than it actually is. You can find a very insightful comment on the inadequacies of the film on photographer Jim Martin’s blog . And make sure to read the article in the New Yorker that he has linked to!

In the end, I came out of the movie theatre and did not really like Mr. Maloof. In a way I admire the work he has put into unearthing some of the mysteries of Vivian Maier’s life, developing and printing her photos, and getting word out about her. But I am not sure that the story he tells about her does her justice. And I am most certain she would not have liked to have this – partly imaginary – story put out into public like this.

I am glad that through Maloof’s work we get to see her wonderful photographs, and hope that he will continue to publish books with many more of those photos. But wouldn’t it be enough to do the photos for the world to see? Says she who immediately went to see the movie when she heard about it... but I would rather have a mysterious and wonderfully talented photographer whom I don't know more about than that she nannied, than hear her talked into being a weirdo. Because I don't think she was.

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