Reviews

This is a gigantic book. It records the photographs shown in the New York Times Magazine in a number of different genres over a period of years. It is organized into four different sections: Portraits, Documentary, Photo Illustration, and Style. In addition there is a section about projects from several different photographers.

The previous reviews I have written focused on books that kept the content and the technique separate. Here,...

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This is a series of short documentaries about different graphic design artists. The length of each episode (about 45 minutes) made them very easy to watch and more enjoyable than longer productions. I watched two episodes; one about Christoph Niemann, an illustrator and the other about Paula Scher, a typographer. Both were excellent.

Each episode did a terrific job of showing how the artists’ work interacted with real life. In the...

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This is full-length documentary film about a typeface. Along with the historic information about Helvetica, we are treated to a discussion of graphic design and the philosophies behind typography.

The film tells the story of how Helvetica, developed in 1957, swept the world and quickly became its most ubiquitous typeface. Graphic designers wanted modern design systems to present information to the public in an intelligible, modern way....

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I have watched many episodes of Chef’s Table (cooking shows are my preferred reality shows) and I like them all but this one is the best one. I have seen certified junk-food junkie Christina Tosi on various television shows and I have admired her for some time.

This film describes her decision to become a chef and her drive for success. After college, as she struggled to find a direction for her life, she asked herself what it was that...

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This film recounts the stories behind the images of Sebastiāo Salgado as well as his personal history. Salgado is known as a social documentary photographer; the film calls him “a witness of the human condition.”

The film falls into the genre of art photography and biography. The biography, of course, describes Salgado’s professional career. Art documentaries focus more upon the the work rather than so much on the artist. The work we...

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This book is Sally Mann’s autobiography. Rather than telling us about her photographic practice, the book takes us through her life, especially the people and places that mean so much to her and the impact of her life on her art. As expected in a memoir, it is written in first person. Dwight Garner (New York Times) calls the book “uncommonly beautiful.” In fact, Mann is as beautiful a writer as she is a photographer; her writing comes out of...

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This film tells the story of a people who lived more than 32,000 years ago. It demonstrates that a powerful story can be told through art. The images they painted in Chauvet Cave are art and history and science all at once as they record the likenesses of the animal world around them.

The writer and director was Werner Herzog, an award-winning filmmaker. He was honored and appreciated by the likes Francois Truffaut and Roger Egbert....

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This film reviews the historical events of the American Civil Rights movement through the words of the leaders and the music of the times. The film was directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman. It was screened at numerous festivals and had a place on the shortlists for important awards.

This film documents the social and historical significance of the times. It is about the principal leaders of the movement but even more it is about...

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This documentary follows artist Vic Muniz over three years as he creates art in Jardim Gramacho, the Brazilian land fill that is the largest trash heap in the world. The film was directed by Lucy Walker, a documentary filmmaker who uses the technique of following memorable characters on life-changing journeys. The award-winning director said "I have always been interested in garbage: What it says about us. What in there embarrasses...

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This film is the story of a journey from stuff to less stuff, from big living spaces to tiny houses, and from unhappy situations to happiness. It is about the journey from a way of thinking that adores things to one that simply uses them.

The authors, two young men, spent much of their lives seeking happiness after terrible childhoods. They followed the traditional paths of career, money, family, and security but when none of those...

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This is a film about the ethic of work. The director, David Gelb, was critically acclaimed for the film, and the film itself was widely honored. Gelb has done other work in the food genre, including Chef's Table. The film grew from an initial idea to highlight a number of different sushi chefs but when he met Jiro Gelb found him so interesting that he discarded the other idea. Also pulling at Gelb was the relationship between Jiro and his...

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INTRODUCTION

This is the story of an artist, one who finds her subjects in her dreams and imagination and then, somehow, finds them in real life. The authors of this biography are also artists -- one is a writer and the other is a cartoonist/illustrator/painter. They also each have Mexican heritage. Their book about Iturbide thus reveals more of the artist's connections to her art and her country than might otherwise have been...

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Finding Vivian Maier

Review by Dr. Catherine Carter

This film tells the story of discovery .. the discovery of thousands of unpublished and even undeveloped negatives and the discovery of the woman who made them. The images were made by Vivian Maier during her lifetime but were never shown to the public. The creator and narrator is John Maloof, a real estate developer interested in historic preservation. In the winter of 2007 he...

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At the end of 1981, 270 men were diagnosed with a mysterious immune deficiency disease. Nearly half of them died. This documentary film recounts the story of the explosion of cases and the effort of those infected to save themselves. The director, David France, is a photojournalist who covered the AIDS epidemic from the beginning. France is himself a gay man, which made the production of this film extremely personal. This is social...

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