Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lost Then Found

Brian Tallerico gives Finding Vivian Maier two and a half stars. A bit low, I thought.

The documentary is about a women who worked as a nanny and took thousands and thousands of photographs. She's be forgotten unless John Maloof, who made the film, hadn't discovered all the rolls of film and gotten her work displayed.  And it's impressive--she strikes me as a master of street photography.

So I read Tallerico's piece and it wasn't so much a review as a discussion of the morality of such a project.  Would Vivian Maier have liked it?  She was a private woman who died a few years ago, completely unknown. Would she approve of someone snooping around in her life?  It seemed to me Tallerico should have rated the film for how gripping it is, and if he felt bad about it, note his moral qualms. Instead, the review seems to reflect how he feels about the making and displaying of the film, not the film itself.

He's not the only critic to have some problems with this, but I'm surprised anyone is bothered.  Haven't these people seen other documentaries, or read any newspaper or biographies?  When someone does something of interest, whether it's noble or dastardly, people like to find out about them, and its commonplace for reporters or other to investigate into their lives.  Maybe it's not nice when the person (even after this person has died) would prefer to remain anonymous, but it's pretty much business as usual.

My guess, by the way, is Maier would have liked to see her work praised, and exhibited in museums.  It's certainly possible she wouldn't have liked some of the revelations about her personal life, but, as unfair as this may seem, it's not up to her.  As to what those revelations are, see the movie. If you think your conscience can handle it.


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Anything on Errol Morris and Don Rumsfeld?

3:16 AM, April 17, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I've never been a big fan of their photos.

10:54 AM, April 17, 2014  

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