A rare glimpse of the late street photographer’s 1970s moving image work. These fragile, observational clips uncover Vivian Maier’s largely unseen experimentation with film. The New York-born photographer spent 40 years working as a nanny in Chicago, simultaneously fostering a secret passion for image-making that led her to document the urban life of America, enjoying her productive peak in the 50s and 60s.
“Vivian saw details that pass us by in everyday life,” says director, curator and the primary caretaker of Maier’s oeuvre, John Maloof. When the photographer died in 2009 aged 83, the tens of thousands of images that she amassed during her lifetime were only just beginning to be discovered. After winning a bid for 30,000 of Maier’s negatives in a Chicago auction house in 2007, it took six months for Maloof to realize the importance of what he had purchased. “Little by little, I realized that the work was great,” he says. “Maier should wedge right in with the best photographers of her time, such as Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Lisette Model and Helen Levitt.”
Finding Vivian Maier premiered at Toronto Film Festival. Directed by Maloof and Charlie Siskel, the documentary sheds light on the discovery of Maier’s hidden archive and slowly unravels her touching story. “She had few friends, never had a family of her own, and moved from place to place,” says Siskel. “There was little that was consistent in life; the one constant was her photography. With that, she never compromised.” (Source: NOWNESS)