Best of the Web
In photography’s modern age, photographers are becoming filmmakers, photographs are inspiring films, the convergence is here and the visuals win. This week’s best of the Web looks at photography in film.
Charles C. Ebbets’ 1932 photograph Lunch atop a Skyscraper captures an entire generation within a single frame. That photograph of 11 construction workers taking a lunch break 850 feet above New York City captures the essence of what it took to create New York of the 1930s. Inspired by the still image, filmmaker Seán Ó Cualáin explores the story behind one of the most iconic images of our time. Interviews with archivists, photographers and historians explore the cultural context of the photograph and the immigrant roots of the workers who played such an important role in the forging of New York City.
Cinematographer and time-lapse photographer Colin Rich’s sequel to LA Light is a time-lapse portrait of Los Angeles during his favorite time to shoot. Nightfall captures the Southland when the day transitions to night. Rich’s elaborate camera setups and interesting angles compress thousands of frames shot over many hours to a matter of minutes, revealing the lights of the of our beautiful city moving in a rhythm that builds to a crescendo of light.
Acclaimed cinematographer Ron Frick’s latest feature film, Samsara, opened in select theaters Aug. 24. Translated from Tibetan, Samsara means continuous flow, the repeating cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The film is the sequel to his 1992 masterpiece Baraka. Samsara is a non-verbal film in which a tableau of grand visual imagery is masterfully scored to a soundtrack of Lisa Gerrard and Michael Stearns to create a flowing experience that is a meditation on modernity and the world around us.
The Queen of Versailles
Documentary photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield’s fourth feature documentary film” The Queen of Versailles” is a cautionary tale of excess and consumerism. The film follows timeshare mogul David Siegel and his beauty queen wife as they proceed to build the largest single-family home in America. While building the 90,000-square-foot home, modeled after the Palace of Versailles, construction is halted by financial bubble bursting during the 2008 financial crisis. Strong interviews and verite filming reveal an intimate portrait of a remarkable family dealing with economic collapse. Greenfield’s films often have likable subjects within a cultural context, in this case the context of consumerism. Like Greenfield’s other films, “The Queen of Versailles” is a portrait of cultural values.
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