From the Desk of Bigger Boat Pictures: Finding Vivian Maier (2014)

From the Desk of Bigger Boat Pictures:
Finding Vivian Maier (2014)

Directed by John Malood and Charlie Siskel
Reviewed by James Rosario

Vivian Maier

I don’t claim to know much of anything about photography or photographers, although I’ve always enjoyed the subject. Not the artsy fancy schmancy stuff, but the gritty stuff. I love punk rock photography, of course. Pictures of bands and the wildness that happens at shows, if I were to really think about it,  is probably what got me interested in the subject in the first place. Over the years, though, I have started to appreciate some of the more “famous” photographers.


My two favorite photographers, up until seeing this movie, were Diane Arbus and Dorothea Lange. If you’re not familiar with either, go look up some of there stuff right now. I mean it! Now I can add Vivian Maier and make my list a trio. To me, these women photographed without ego, where I think their male counterparts took themselves maybe a bit too seriously. The men seem to think they are more important than they really are, perhaps. These three women took pictures of real people, and I like real people. 

Finding Vivian Maier is a documentary about the life of an unknown genius who never even knew she had talent. Vivian Maier was a nanny who also took pictures, hundreds of thousands of pictures, and they weren’t seen by anyone until very recently. Most were never even developed. She was an eccentric,  a pack rat, and an incredibly gifted photographer. No one in her life ever really knew her and now, through this film, we get to make an attempt. It plays as a history of an artist, but also as a sort of mystery. Not a single one of the many employers Ms. Maier had over the years had any idea of the immense talent that was living under their roofs. Vivian didn’t know it about herslef either. She simply took pictures for fun! Or maybe compulsion, I’m not quite sure.

We follow the filmmakers as they piece together this extraordinary woman’s life and her undiscovered and beautiful photographs. It’s fun and tragic and everybody has funny accents.

If you’re into photography at all,  I recommend Finding Vivian Maier very highly. If you’re into good documentaries made by passionate people, I also recommend this film very highly. 


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