John Maloof attended an auction looking for some content and bought a box of negatives in a box for $380.00 When Maloof finally got around to revising the negatives he began to realize the quality of the photos. He returned to the auction to track down and purchase other boxes from different buyers from that day then began to purchases all the items that he could find from the Maier storage locker.
Director's John Maloof and Charlie Siskel weave an intricate suspenseful tale to uncover the story of Maeir. The narrative look at the negatives and photos along with receipts and films in both 8 and 16 millimetre to gain an insight into the photographer.
The documentary uses first person accounts from former employers and children from Maier's nanny days dating back to the 50's and 60's in the Chicagoland area.
Two of the best sequences are the review of receipts with all the different spellings of the protagonist name. The other is the debate on her origins. Is she from Central Europe, does she have a French background or is she American.
Maier's photographic genre is Street Photography. The majority of her shots are candid photos of the lower ends of the citizenship in the Chicago area. She did the majority of her work out on strolls/adventures with the entrusted kids in toe. Her camera, a Rolleiflex added to her endeavour. the box camera was constantly around her neck and due to the style Maier had to look down into the camera to focus and shoot. Since she did not have to raise the camera to her eye her subjects were often caught off guard and unaware that they were being shot.
*** 1/2 Out of 4.
Finding Vivian Maier | John Maloof & Charlie Siskel |U.S.A. | 2013 | 83 Minutes.
Tags: Chicago, Recluse, Horder, Storage locker, Auction, Street Photography, Exhibition, Discovery.