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Michael Ventura

Best Movies Featuring Photography or Photographers

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Work is quiet again and no plans for the weekend, any thoughts on movies that feature photography or photographers that I could stream on Netflix or Amazon?  Could be documentaries as well.

A few that come to my mind are:

 

Blow-Up, Bridges of Madison County and Finding Vivian Maier

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Posted (edited)

"The Salt of the Earth" - a GREAT documentary about the GREAT Sebastiao Salgado by Vim Venders!!! from 2014 (warning for sensitive content)

 

Edited by Ognyan Yosifov
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Posted (edited)

This would be UK only, but the BBC series "Master Photographers" from 1983. Maybe Youtube?

I wish I could remember the name, but at college we were shown a 16mm. documentary about Ansel Adams. He makes an 11x14 test print, then dries it quickly in a microwave.

To fit it in, he has to tear it in half. I can still hear the gasp in the screening room.

"McCullin", (2012), which I haven't seen. The BBC film "McCullin- Looking for England" (2019) may be on YouTube.

Edited by spacecadet

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Ognyan Yosifov said:

"The Salt of the Earth" - a GREAT documentary about the GREAT Sebastiao Salgado by Vim Venders!!! from 2014 (warning for sensitive content)

 


Oh, I did see that at the theater (theatre). One of my fave photographers!

Edited by Michael Ventura
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Posted (edited)

Bill Cunningham New York

 

Black White + Grey

 

Three Identical Strangers  - Not about photography but fascinating.

 

All on Netflix

Edited by Thyrsis
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City of God  (Brazilian. In Portugese, English subtitles).

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPiX-2ehFhM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_God_(2002_film)

 

Based on real life events, it's about a guy (Rocket) who lives in a favela in Rio, Brazil, who sees that his only way out is to become a photographer.

He photographs the drug and crime gangs.

It is gritty, violent, and makes us realise how lucky we are not to grow up in dire poverty in the slums of Rio.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Night Crawler with Jake Gyllenhaal. Available on Amazon. Great story and explores ethical issues around photojournalism. 

Edited by MDM
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2 minutes ago, AlbertSnapper said:

City of God  (Brazilian. In Portugese, English subtitles).

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPiX-2ehFhM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_God_(2002_film)

 

Based on real life events, it's about a guy (Rocket) who lives in a favela in Rio, Brazil, who sees that his only way out is to become a photographer.

He photographs the drug and crime gangs.

It is gritty, violent, and makes us realise how lucky we are not to grow up in dire poverty in the slums of Rio.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Brilliant movie. Definitely worth watching. 

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The BBC series "Genius of Photography" is on Vimeo, perhaps worthy and educational rather than entertaining as a movie would be, but well put together.

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+1 for Salt of the Earth. I saw it at an outdoor cinema 5 years ago.

 

One that came to mind is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 version with Ben Stiller). It is not really a photography movie but Sean Penn plays a photojournalist in it. At one stage his character is in the Himalayas with the goal of photographing a snow leopard. There is a scene about living in the moment when he is up on a mountain. It's kind of a reminder to us photographers to sometimes be in the moment rather than being so stuck behind the lens that we don't actually really experience the moment. I found a clip of this scene (but maybe a bit of a spoiler if you want to watch the whole film): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmB8MZvWASo

 

 

The other thing I thought of is a documentary I saw years ago about Linda McCartney's photography. I really enjoyed it at the time. I just tried to find what it is called and found something called Linda - Behind the Lens, which is probably it. I also found there is a website of her images: https://www.lindamccartney.com/

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About Jay Maisel.... 

 

 

Fabulous fun!

 

Paulette

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14 minutes ago, NYCat said:

About Jay Maisel.... 

 

 

Fabulous fun!

 

Paulette

 

I didn't know this film existed! I actually interviewed with Jay, to be an assistant, back in 1979.  I didn't get the job but was thrilled, non-the-less, to have visited the old bank studio and have a nice chat with him.  He and his studio manager could not have been nicer to me.  They both looked through my printed portfolio and had good constructive comments. I will check out that film....thanks Paulette!

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He's a wonderful teacher. I took a brief seminar with him at PhotoPlus Expo one year. I think you will love the film.

 

Paulette

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5 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

Work is quiet again and no plans for the weekend, any thoughts on movies that feature photography or photographers that I could stream on Netflix or Amazon?  Could be documentaries as well.

A few that come to my mind are:

 

Blow-Up, Bridges of Madison County and Finding Vivian Maier

Here's a nice little half hour video you might enjoy Michael. 

 

 

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BBC drama serial from 1999, "Shooting the Past" written by Steven Poliakoff. Brilliant drama from one of my favourite dramatists.

 

Alan

 

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11 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

I didn't know this film existed! I actually interviewed with Jay, to be an assistant, back in 1979.  I didn't get the job but was thrilled, non-the-less, to have visited the old bank studio and have a nice chat with him.  He and his studio manager could not have been nicer to me.  They both looked through my printed portfolio and had good constructive comments. I will check out that film....thanks Paulette!

Jay Maisel is my hero and I love him! Have his two books and watched a few videos about him! Brilliant teacher and a kind human being....

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One Hour Photo with Robin Williams (available on Amazon). 

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There is a movie called Kodachrome which I have saved to my watchlist on Netflix but not gotten around to watching yet. It stars Ed Harris and is about a race against death to Kansas to get to the last Kodachrome developing lab before it closes. No idea if it’s worth watching but Ed Harris is a great actor and it gets  6.8 on IMDB. 

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6 hours ago, MDM said:

There is a movie called Kodachrome which I have saved to my watchlist on Netflix but not gotten around to watching yet. It stars Ed Harris and is about a race against death to Kansas to get to the last Kodachrome developing lab before it closes. No idea if it’s worth watching but Ed Harris is a great actor and it gets  6.8 on IMDB. 


Funny, I have it in my saved list too, on Netflix.  Been there for a while, must not really be available.

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Kodachrome shows up in my Netflix as available in the US.

 

Thanks for the original question, Michael, and thanks everyone for all the great suggestions. I’ve been able to add to my "wish list." A good, interesting documentary or film can be a great distraction from current events.

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I have 'War Photographer" with James Nachtwey on DVD - watched it again just recently.

Not sure about availability on streaming services.

 

96min documentary following James Nachtwey in Kosovo, the West Bank and Indonesia and other places. Released 2001.

Includes some grim stuff - but the subject matter and the photographer's attitude i think keeps you properly grounded.

 

GD

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I have these on DVD;

 

James Ravilious A world in photographs.    Banyak films distributed by the BBC. It's about documentary photography in 1970's Devon, narrated by Alan Bennett.

 

Frankie's House. Network. The story of Tim Page and Sean Flynn in Vietnam.

 

 

I cannot imagine two more extreme environments, but to my mind the humanity of the two photographers is comparable. See what you think.

 

James

 

 

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22 hours ago, Shergar said:

Here's a nice little half hour video you might enjoy Michael. 

 

 

 

This was fun to watch! Thanks for all the suggestions, I have a lot films to view in the coming days and weeks!  I was fun seeing David Burnett in this short film on photographing the Olympics.  I did a lot of assisting other photographers in my early 20s and was thrilled when David Burnett called me to assist on portrait shoot in DC.  He was hero of mine before that shoot and still is.  I mainly assisted photographers coming in from NY or LA so it was so it was great to see so many techniques and styles of photography.  

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