Film Night

I’ve not watched all the 16 films that are listed in 16 Photography Documentaries every Street Photographer should watch on the Street View Photography site, though there are some that I have seen. Most of the 16 can be found on YouTube, although a few are only available on DVD.

Perhaps I’ll find myself some spare time over Christmas to watch some of the others, although I usually keep pretty busy, and I find it hard to just sit and watch, especially for the longer films.  Daido Moriyama: Near Equal is 1hr 24 minutes, and  so far I’ve just dipped into it at a few points, so I can’t tell you if it is worth watching as a whole. Picking up his ‘Shinjuku 19XX-20-XX‘ from my bookshelves and looking through a few pages is rather more satisfying if I only have a few minutes to spare. But if you don’t have the book (or others with his work – and there are some available more cheaply), YouTube is considerably cheaper.

And while film is seldom a good medium for looking at photography, it can be good at talking about it, and the film features the photographer and  a number of other people (fortunately with subtitles for people like me whose Japanese is non-existent.)

I’ve never considered myself a ‘street photographer’, a term which always seems to me to lack any real meaning, though usually I work on the streets, and certainly see my own work as being a part of that great body of photography that was celebrated in ‘Bystander: A History of Street Photography‘, a book that annexed at least half the history of photography to its presumed genre (as you can appreciate from this speed-reading video.)  I don’t think any of those included in the original publication in 1994 – Atget, Stieglitz, Strand, Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Kertesz, Lartigue, Walker Evans, Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, and more –  called themselves street photographers either.

I don’t have the Eggleston DVD mentioned in this feature. but I did put another one on my Christmas list a couple of years ago, William Eggleston Photographer, a Reiner Holzemer film (extended trailer here) made in cooperation with the William Eggleston Trust, and I might watch that again.  And since people never know what to get me for Christmas, I might just search for a few more films I could add to put on a list for this year.


3 Responses to “Film Night”

  1. ChrisL says:

    Film week rather than night with that list!
    Thanks for the link.

    Luckily I have the Contacts series on DVD and that is good for dipping into.
    One not on the list, not even by the elastic definition of “Bystander”, is Don McCullin and I just finished watching the taped (still use that term) BBC film on the Imagine series. That was an emotional and difficult watch and not currently on i-player.

  2. On p207 of my copy:

    Under these conditions – combat conditions – Don McCullin and Raymond Depardon are street photographers of a sort.

    Few escape its reach. Put a foot on a pavement ever and you are in.

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