August 19, 2014

Finding Vivian Maier (2013)

Finding Vivian Maier (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Country: USA

Movie Review: Fascinating documentary about Vivian Maier, a mysterious street photographer, housekeeper, and nanny, whose work was discovered only a couple years prior her death in 2009, when co-director John Maloof acquired the most part of her negatives and other belongings in an auction. After being refused by MoMA, it was thanks to Chicago Cultural Centre that Maier’s work gained the deserved reputation and success. Daughter of a French mother and an Austrian father, Vivian was born in New York, never revealing anything about her past along the years that she worked for several families in Chicago. While some of her employers and their children defined her as an extremely reserved person who evinced an intriguing behavior and made up things about herself, famous street photographers such as Joel Meyerowitz and documentary photographer icon, Mary Ellen Mark, evaluated her sharp eye and outstanding work where the sense of humor, tragedy and life, combined in perfection. I was amazed by how she was able to collect so many things along the years, including piles of newspapers, and dragging them inside of suitcases to wherever she went. Maloof and Charlie Siskel were capable to increase my curiosity and suspicion about Vivian’s traumatic past, structuring the documentary in a clear way and leaving notions of bizarreness and darkness in the air. “Finding Vivian Maier”, as the title implies, was a wonderful discovery for me, both for Vivian’s shadowy life and superb capture of reality.

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