Finding Vivian Maier

Date: 25/11/2014 Times: 7:30 pm - 8:55 pm

1955, New York, NY

Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny, working in New York, who secretly took thousands of photographs that went unseen during her lifetime.  Since buying her work by chance at auction, John Maloof, a real-estate agent with an interest in photography, has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books and is also the maker of this hugely enjoyable documentary.  Her photos are often intimate portraits of people she just encountered on the streets and her work has been compared to Henri Cartier-Bresson.  She seemed to have a genius for relaxing people in spite of her rather awkward personality.

Vivian Maier herself remains very much an enigma.  She took something in the region of 150,000 photos but made no effort to exhibit them.  She stored them away and they only came up for auction because she could not afford the storage any more.  The children who she was nanny to have very mixed memories of her and, to most of them, she appeared aloof and, sometimes, quite scary.  At the end of the film, you wonder what she would have made of the exposure.

The film won the John Schlesinger Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival for ‘the filmmakers’ dogged yet sensitive approach to a relentless and covert artist, as well as their honest inquiry into her mysterious life’.

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Finding Vivian Maier

Year: 2013

Country: USA

Cert: 12A

Duration: 83 mins

Dir: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel

The posthumous discovery of a world class photographer

Venue: William Loveless Hall