Finding Vivian Maier - movie

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by jason_withers, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Has anyone seen this documentary yet? It wasn't showing at any venue within a couple hours driving distance of my home so I was curious if anyone saw it and what they thought. I came across the story of this photographer sometime last year and she seems very interesting!
    Link below:
  2. I've seen it. Her work and she, herself, are very interesting to consider. There are many other things dealt with in the film, which I won't go into since you haven't seen it. It's well worth seeing for many reasons. I didn't think, as a documentary about a photographer, it was filmed in a very visually interesting way and it lacked the qualities many better documentaries have, but the story and the work depicted in it are well worth watching.
    It was discussed in a thread HERE, but much about it is revealed so if you'd prefer to see it without pre-judgement or others' opinions, I'd wait to see it before reading the thread.
  3. vdp


    I too saw this documentary. I liked it, it is well worth seeing. I would also read her biography that is attached to her website, it differs somewhat from the movie. I felt that the bio indicated that she was more well liked and less eccentric than in the movie.
  4. I saw it last night. Liked it a lot as kind of a history-mystery movie. There was a discussion afterwords and one person, who was actually in the movie, commented that it was the second time he and wife had seen it. It was said the movie was edited since the first showing and more contrasting views and opinions were shown by those who knew her.
    So far, over one hundred people who knew her have been interviewed. I think some of her popularity has to do with her seeming lack of formal photographic roots. She is kind of an underdog to the art establishment and I think people like that. The directors say she had a photographic awakening in New York in 1951. While she was shy, I would like to know if she took advantage of any of the photgraphic educational opportunities available through the years. Will a photo club member come out of the woodwork to say that she attended meetings but didn't enter competitions?

    The movie theater was sold out and over a thousand people watched the film. Since 2010, the Chicago PBS station has shown numerous episodes about the Maloof find and unraveling her story. I was happy to note that there was not as much overlap as I expected between what I had seen on TV and what was shown in the movie. There is also a BBC documentary about her that I want to see.
    While she interests me partly because much of her photography is Chicago based. She shot many rolls in Europe, the Middle East, South America, etc, that she took on trips. Eventually, I hope to see many of those.
    Go see the movie if you have a chance. There are also gallery showings if you keep an eye out for them.
  5. I saw the film too, but I doubt she attended any clubs or meetings. I think she had a natural gift, she was interested in current events and she went where the action was. I saw a few photos of celebrities at film premiers in her portfolio, but they looked standoffish and voyeuristic, like she was in the back of the crowd observing. There's one of Frank Sinatra in the midst of other people that is not really well composed, more like on the fly, seeming almost accidental. I think she was an introverted and eccentric personality, with an innate connection to the world around her and a gift for the visual.
  6. Very lucky for the rest of us that John Maloof realised how interesting the pictures might be after he'd got the first box from the auction house!
    It is an interesting film, although not enough of it is spent on her photographs, and rather too much on padding out the sparseness of what is known about her.
    I don't think any of the rest matters, as her photos are what we look at, or into. I mean, none of know or care about the lifestyle or foibles of Minor White, Edward Steichen, Eugene Atget or any one else whose photos we might admire; so why should we obsess about our lack of information about Vivian Maier? It is her photos and her eye that interests us.

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