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  1. Finding Vivian Maier (documentary)

    #812082014-08-02 21:18:11Kirn said:

    Hello, one and all! As always, I am here with another documentary. Now, this one is not about any relevant issue... hell, this one is not even about some theme I myself would be interested in. Still, I watched it, for the hell of it. Pretty much, my reasoning for watching this one was the same as for the "Chasing Ice" - pretty pictures. Because this one is about a photographer.

    So yeah, this guy - John Maloof - was looking to write a history book of sorts, he bought a box of photos from some auction, just for a chance to get reference pictures, and suddenly he found out he is now sitting on thousands of photos by a completely unknown street photographer. And so he goes on a discovery journey, which is pretty much what this documentary is about.
    Now, early on you will understand from this movie, that Vivian was some sort of a crazy person. Not the type of crazy that you lock up somewhere, more like the socially accepted crazy, but still quite weird in the head. And the thing is, nobody would ever made a big deal out of person with that sort of behaviour if she wouldn't turn out to be this great photo-artist. And the main focus of the movie is not exactly her work, though, obviously, that is the big part of it, but the main thing is trying to explore her character, to know what kind of a person she was. And I can't help but wonder if that attempt to know that previously unknown person was really important to understanding her work? Well, maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. The movie itself on a few occasions presents completely opposing opinions expressed by people who knew Vivian, so I guess there is some understanding that there can't really be much certainty about all this.
    As you can imagine, most of the movie is talks about Vivian's photos and making art galleries for those or talks by people who knew her about different stages of her life. There's also a short part about going to France. A lot of movie is showing her photographs or movie footage made by her. Most photos/movies would be relevant to what is being talked about, some are presented just as pretty backgrounds. Movie is not very long - just about 80 minutes.

    Is this movie worth a watch? Hell, this time I can't even really say. As I said, it's mostly about exploring who this person was, and that's really not something I would be interested in. But at the same time, I wasn't exactly bored at any stage of the movie. I can tell you this - I wanted to watch this for some interesting street photos, and I sure got a lot of that, so if you are interested in photo-art, this is definitely worth a watch just for the photos. Other than that... I guess, this is what you may call a human interest movie, so decide if you want to watch it or not based on that.