This is my entry for “Z” in the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Throughout April I will be watching and reviewing a documentary movie from A to Z. Previous “Z” documentaries I’ve reviewed include Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.
Release Date: September 2015
Director: Jean François Gratton and Matt Zimbel
Production Company: Bunbury Films | Ready to Shoot Studio
This biographical documentary focuses on the life and work of freelance photographer George Zimbel. From the 1950s to the present, Zimbel has taken evocative photographs of celebrities and ordinary people. Some of his most famous photographs feature Marilyn Monroe, John and Jackie Kennedy on the campaign trail, Harry Truman in his retirement years, and street scenes from gritty old New Orleans.
The Monroe photographs are particularly interesting since they are from a promotional event for the Seven Year Itch with the famous moment of Monroe standing over a subway grate. Zimbel’s photographs are different in that he stands back a bit and captures the sea of other photographers taking their photos, as well as capturing Monroe in a quiet moment thinking to herself between photoshoots. Zimbel’s street photography of ordinary people is also quite excellent.
One flaw with this movie is that it’s framed with the reading of a series of letters Zimbel exchanged with The New York Times regarding the ownership of a print of a photo of the Kennedys. The long, snarky letters add nothing to the story and both Zimbel and the Times come of sounding like petty jerks. Oh, and Zimbel really hates digital photography. He’s entitled to that belief, but until I have the money and space for my own darkroom, I’ll stick with my digital camera.
If You Like This You Might Also Want To …:
Finding Vivian Maier tells the story of a street photographer who, unlike Zimbel, received absolutely no recognition during her lifetime.
2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge – Documentary Films
B: Being Elmo
C: Central Park Five
D: Dear Mr. Watterson
E: The Endless Summer
F: F for Fake
G: Grey Gardens
H: High School
I: Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice
J: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
L: The Last Waltz
M: Man With a Movie Camera
N: Nanook of the North
Q: Quest: A Portrait of an American Family
R: Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan
S: Soundtrack for a Revolution
T: Titicut Follies
U: Unforgivable Blackness
W: Waking Sleeping Beauty
Y: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train
If you want to read more, check out my previous Blogging A to Z Challenges:
- 2016: A journey through my neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in Boston.
- 2017: A spontaneous photograph each day.
- 2018: Watched and reviewed documentary movies.
And dig deep into Panorama of the Mountains, by checking out my:
- Book Reviews
- Movie Reviews
- Beer Reviews
- Music Reviews and Writing
- City Stories, expository writing about my experiences in various cities
And, if you like Doctor Who, I have a whole ‘nother blog where I review Doctor Who stories across media: Epic Mandates.