film club: finding vivian maier

I am going to start this post with an image.


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:

VivianMaier7 VivianMaier6 VivianMaier1 VivianMaier3 vivianMaier15 VivianMaier14

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.

VivianMaier11 VivianMaier10 VivianMaier9 VivianMaier8

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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