film club: finding vivian maier

I am going to start this post with an image.

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Boom. A perfectly photographed picture. His gaze. The light. The composition.

This photograph was not taken a famous photographer. And up until 2007, this photographer was not known at all, to anyone. And if it hadn’t been for a young junk finder, John Maloof, perhaps may have remained unknown.

A fortuitous purchase of a lot of negatives at an auction, Maloof takes a journey to find the photographer of negatives. Why? Because in the thousands and thousands of negatives, John saw this:

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When John Maloof looked at these images, he knew he had found a treasure. And so began his search for a completely unknown street photographer who captured the peculiarities of everyday life.

The film Finding Vivian Maier attempts to unravel the tangled story of a nanny & housekeeper who ‘took photographs’. Vivian Maier was known by few, and those few – charges, employers, and a few shop keepers – knew very little about her. No one was sure where she came from. No one was even really sure of her name. But everyone remembered the camera around her neck.

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Her images are incredible. Her story is mystifying. And then there is the story of the kid, John Maloof’s, obsession and detective work. The documentary is well worth the watch.

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