"Art Photography" in the movies

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jeff voorhees, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. Anybody see the movie called "Smoke"? The Harvey Keitel character walks outside his cigar shop every morning at 8am and takes a picture of the same street corner with the same lens, rain or shine. He does this for 20 years. It is Art, no? Although I think he used a Pentax K1000.

    <p>

    For that matter, Atget swore he produced "documents for artists".

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    If he only knew.
     
  2. Great movie (IMO). It boils down to is documentation art. I read
    somewhere that HCB thinks it is, Capa thought it wasn't. I guess art
    really is in the eye of the beholder. BTW if you haven't seen it
    there was a second movie made about the above cigar shot. Supposedly
    they had enough footage left over that they made a second movie that
    was equally as good. If I'm not mistaken it was called Up In Smoke
    (though there was another movie by that name as well).
     
  3. The "sequel" was titled Blue in the Face. It was filmed right after Smoke, and most of the scenes are improvised by the various actors. I've been meaning to see it but haven't yet. The consensus seems to be that it's rather uneven since some actors' improvisational skills are much better than others.
     
  4. While I'd be hesitant to have an opinion duel with either HCB or Capa,
    I'm of the opinion that one <can> document scenes and social aspects
    of everyday life in such a way that it becomes art. The trick, I
    believe, is to keep the visual opinion of the artist secondary to the
    accuracy of the representation. Rather like good journalism - the
    facts are still there, and the opinion of the journalist is neutral,
    but the presentation makes it a great story.
     
  5. I suppose it would qualify as conceptual art -or maybe just as a
    morning ritual? :)
     
  6. It was not a K1000. It was a Canon AE-1 that he found among a stash of
    stolen ones, still in boxes.

    <p>

    (The line between documentation and art is an interesting one, and taking
    that documentation out of its time can be illuminating. For instance, found
    artifacts, or, more precisely, found documents. When would we call them art?
    It seems we would be hard pressed to do so, since we could imagine that the
    intention was not artistic or literary. Rather, it served a utilitarian purpose.

    <p>

    Is a bit of text written on some papyrus by a paid scribe in 1st c. AD Egypt to
    document an agreement of apprenticeship literature? Probably no more than
    a photo for a catalogue is art. But Harvey Keitel's photos were simply, at first
    glance, a record of the view outside his shop. He is recording, documenting,
    for himself, for anyone he shows the album to. Hmmmm.

    <p>

    What about photos taken by private detectives? Forensic photographers?
    Art?)
     
  7. i've seen 'smoke' and 'blue in the face', though the latter never
    reached the first one. if you can only see one, go for 'smoke'.
     
  8. There is a new book out. Someone took a picture of the Golden Gate
    bridge everyday for a year. Same lens, same vantage point, different
    times of day I think.
     

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