Vivian Maier's really moving pictures

Posthumously-discovered photographer also shot 8mm film

September 10, 2013

Vivian Maier, the Chicago nanny who led a secret life as a street photographer, continues to be one of the city's more arresting stories.
 
After gaining notice in 2009 two years after her death, the thousands of photographs Maier took have been the subject of books, exhibitions and a documentary, Finding Vivian Maier, shown this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
 
Her Chicago area photographs, taken from the 1950s through the 1970s have been of particular interest. But the 8mm movies she shot are also coming to light. The above film made of footage Maier shot in downtown Chicago in 1971 or so was posted a few days ago on the arts and culture site Nowness.
 
For my money, Maier was far better with a still camera, but she wasn't bad shooting movies. She seems to be drawn to the same elements that I felt marked her photography when I wrote about her still images in this blog in 2010: "...doyennes seemingly lost in an increasingly modern city; workaday folk walking and shopping beneath the script of neon; old men in shabby suits, hanging out on downtown street corners."
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