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  1. #1
    omaha's Avatar
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    Saw "Finding Vivian Maier"

    Went to see Finding Vivian Maier last night at Film Streams. Its an ok movie built around two fairly interesting stories. The only problem is the movie had a hard time deciding which one of them to tell.

    The first story is that of Vivian Maier, the eccentric nanny of the Chicago Northside who spent her days walking the city with the children in her care, taking thousands and thousands of often amazing photographs but then hiding them away.

    The second story is that of John Maloof, the Chicago area resident alternately described as a “historian and collector” or a “real estate agent” (he may have even published a book on “making big money prospecting for-sale-by-owner properties”, but I’m not sure that’s the same guy) who stumbled into Maier’s work at a storage auction.

    At best, Maloof (who co-wrote and co-prodced the film) is a guy who was genuinely inspired and intrigued by Maier and has made a mission out of promoting her work. At worst, Maloof is an opportunist who happened to stumble into a large collection of great photographs and is exploiting it for personal gain. Or maybe Maloof is a guy who was working in the hyper-competitive and often soulless field of real estate, and saw his discovery of Maier’s work as his chance to get out and transform himself and his life into something with more meaning.

    The rest is at my blog...
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  2. #2

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    I think the film was a success. I'm not that interested in Maloof, but I did enjoy watching what we get to see of his voyage of discovery.

    I think most people will go to this movie because they want to learn more about Maier and her images. Which I did. It is interesting to speculate as to what drove her to make these images, but I'm more interested in the images themselves than the person behind them.

  3. #3
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    An "opportunist" to one person is an "entrepreneur" to another.

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the movie, and I found the Maloof part of the story to be interesting as well.

    It occurs to me that his purpose in putting together an "art" documentary may be at least partly to increase his credibility in the art world.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #5

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    And also a profiteer and carpetbagger, from another perspective.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    An "opportunist" to one person is an "entrepreneur" to another.

  6. #6

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    He has no credibility in the art world, and never will. Neither does that other carpetbagger profiting on Maier's work. Their only motivation is money. Not unlike what happened to Darger.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    I enjoyed the movie, and I found the Maloof part of the story to be interesting as well.

    It occurs to me that his purpose in putting together an "art" documentary may be at least partly to increase his credibility in the art world.

  7. #7
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Maloof probably started off thinking he hit a gold mine, but I think over time he has grown to appreciate Maier's work. Show me an art dealer who isn't into it for a buck. There are two things that are certainly true, Maier was a fantastic photographer and she was certainly (imho) bat crap crazy.
    www.ericrose.com
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    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  8. #8
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    From my understanding there are four MAIN collections

    Mr Maloof has a collection
    Jeffrey Goldstein has a collection
    Ron Slatterly has a collection

    there is also the EBay collection which a friend of mine owns

    I have talked with three of the four and they are all genuine , and coming to their collections from different ways.

  9. #9
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Everything I have read , negatives I have seen, prints I have seen tells me that Vivian was a very dedicated photographer who knew what she needed to record.
    Not crazy , just dedicated in a really good way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rose View Post
    Maloof probably started off thinking he hit a gold mine, but I think over time he has grown to appreciate Maier's work. Show me an art dealer who isn't into it for a buck. There are two things that are certainly true, Maier was a fantastic photographer and she was certainly (imho) bat crap crazy.

  10. #10
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    double post sorry

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