by Gregory Crofton
Watch this wonderful little film when you’ve got 75 minutes to sit down, take a relaxing break from everyday life, and learn something about photography.
“THE B-SIDE” is about a large format Polaroid photographer from Massachusetts you’ve never heard of named Elsa Dorfman. “The B-Side” is what she calls portrait photos she shot for clients that they decided not to keep. She, of course, kept them.
Thankfully this taut documentary with a marvelous score (features Jonathan Richman among others) is the opposite of Netflix’s last project from Errol Morris “WORMWOOD” — an overdone four-hour docuseries about LSD, the CIA and the mysterious “suicide” of U.S. Army scientist Frank Olson in 1953.
A close friend of Dorfman’s was Allen Ginsberg. She took naked photos of him at his suggestion, which you’ll see in the film. Morris knows paydirt when he finds it, so he doesn’t miss the opportunity in this retirement portrait of Dorfman to share intimate end-of-life moments she had with the famous writer. Find the trailer below.