We’re getting pummeled with rain on the east coast this week, I’m thinking ahead to lazy dreamy Summer days. Afternoons spent swimming at the lake followed by late nights watching movies and eating popsicles on the living room floor. In anticipation of the weeks ahead and in honor of Film Friday, I put together a top five movie list every photographer should see. I included a mix of classic and contemporary films and while there were many others I jotted down for the list, I thought it would be more fun if you played along too.
My top 5 film picks for photographers:
1. Blow-Up (1966) directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. A must-see film inspired by Julio Cortazar’s 1959 short story titled Las babas del diablo translated as “The Devil’s Drool” or “Blow-up”. Thomas, a British fashion photographer played by David Hemmings, accidentally captures the commission of a murder on film. Renessa Redgrave and Sarah Miles also star in the film which takes an insider’s look at London’s fashion scene and mid-sixties mod society.
2. Rear Window (1954) directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Another classic involving film and murder. James Stewart plays the role of Jeff, a wheelchair bound photographer who after spying on his neighbors from his apartment window grows convinced one of them has committed murder.
3. Everlasting Moments (2008) directed by Jan Troell. Inspired by a true story, Maria Heiskanen stars as Maria Larsson, a Finnish mother and housewife who spends all her time taking care of her family. Her relationship with husband, Sigge (Mikael Persbrandt) is troubled. He’s works the docks by day and makes their family life a raging storm by night with fits of drunken rage. Sigge loses his job when the dockworkers go on strike and as their economic situation sinks into desperation, Maria discovers she won a Contessa camera in a local lottery. When she tries to sell it in a pawn shop, store owner Sebastian Pedersen persuades her to keep it, a decision which changes her entire life.
4. La Dolce Vita (1960) directed by Federico Fellini. The film centers around a series of stories following a week in the life of Marcello, played by Marcello Mastroianni, a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome. Dissatisfied with his work and personal life, he throws himself headfirst into the hedonism unfolding around him. Also starring Anita Ekberg and Anouk Aimee.
5. Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters (2012) directed by Ben Shapiro. I’ve long been fascinated with photographer Gregory Crewdson’s process. He shoots large format cinematic images that are elaborately staged in the small towns of Western Massachusetts or in elaborately recreated interior spaces built on sound stages just like big-budget movies. A narrative strand runs through his work. Shapiro profiles the artist and includes stories of his childhood in Park Slope, his summers in the country, and his introduction to Diane Arbus’s work.
It’s your turn. What are your film picks for photographers? Classic, contemporary, documentary, avant-garde…