Movies about photography

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
We don't have a (very recent) thread about movies about photography and photographers.

Everybody knows Blowup (1966) but I don't think photography-wise it's the best treatment of the subject.

My subjective opinion of course, I'll put these movies on a pedestal as the greatest:

  • Life (2015) this is a story about Dennis Stock spending time with James Dean, shooting the iconic portraits of him. I very much identify with how in the movie Stock recognizes the potential in Dean and goes for it. I may be biased but yes this is so far the best movie about photography I've seen.
  • The Bang Bang Club (2010) portrays a group of brave and foolhardy photo reporters doing assignments in various parts of Africa but mostly covering the conflicts of SA at the time. Very graphic and powerful imagery but it drills into the questions and essence of photojournalism very well, I think. I wouldn't know personally but this feels very right.
  • Scoop! (2016) is an exhilariating movie about a Japanese veteran paparazzo and his new assistant. I don't know how real paparazzi operate but I can imagine this is more towards a humorous than realistic depiction of this kind of style. Very humorous and realistic depictions of film Leicas towards the end.
Other noteworthy movies.
  • Blowup (1966) as previously mentioned. This movie is from the storytelling perspective very well done so if it's not on my top list it's not because it sucks as a movie.
  • We'll Take Manhattan (2012) a wonderful fun little story about fashion photographer David Bailey and the model Jean Shrimpton. Fun stuff.
  • Pecker (1998) is a fun little story about a kid who shoots everything and happens to blow up big. He shoots a little Canonet, greatly resembling a Fujifilm X100 camera so any Fuji fans can probably identify with the titular character.
  • Kodachrome (2017) tells the story about Kodachrome the film. A nice little story!
  • Monogamy (2010) tells a NYC based Leica shooter's woes about a particular client.
  • Mapplethorpe (2018) is all about Robert Mapplethorpe's work.
  • Love Exposure (2008) is a remarkable 4-hour epic about a kid who specializes in upskirt photography, a Japan speciality to be sure. All in good fun, but photography is just a small side bit of the story.
Some movies that are commonly associated with photography I have omitted because I haven't watched them very recently or I just don't think the photography plays a role at all.

More movies suggested in the replies.
  • Bridges of Madison County (1995): "Clint Eastwood as a photographer taking pictures of old covered bridges for National Geographic."
  • Rear Window (1954): "where the main character is a wheelchair-bound photographer who watches his neighbours through the lens of his camera."
  • La Dolce Vita (1960): "where there's a recurring character called Paparazzo, the archetype for intrusive celebrity/tabloid photographers."

What movie do you think portrays photography as a profession or a (serious) hobby the best?

Edit 1: added Scoop and Love Exposure.
Edit 2: added Rear Window, Bridges of Madison County, La Dolce Vita.
 
Last edited:

Richard

All-Pro
Location
Marlow, UK
Apart from those you mention, I can only think of two;

Hitchcock's 'Rear Window', where the main character is a wheelchair-bound photographer who watches his neighbours through the lens of his camera.

Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita', where there's a recurring character called Paparazzo, the archetype for intrusive celebrity/tabloid photographers.

-R
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Hitchcock's 'Rear Window', where the main character is a wheelchair-bound photographer who watches his neighbours through the lens of his camera.

Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita', where there's a recurring character called Paparazzo, the archetype for intrusive celebrity/tabloid photographers.
Rear Window is on everyone's list but indeed, the camera and the flash cubes are little more than a prop. I should rewatch this classic to be sure, love Hitchcock.

Speaking of paparazzi, I forgot a real gem from my list. Will add it :D
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Just thought of another one - 'Bridges of Madison County' with Clint Eastwood as a photographer taking pictures of old covered bridges for National Geographic.

-R
I watched this in 2014, before I took up photography. I remember this film for its jazz selection, also for very romantic story. I'm probably not the intended audience. Will definitely rewatch this!



I think I'll collect all movies mentioned in top post so that it will serve as a good list for anyone wishing to watch something.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
Rear Window is on everyone's list but indeed, the camera and the flash cubes are little more than a prop. I should rewatch this classic to be sure, love Hitchcock.

Speaking of paparazzi, I forgot a real gem from my list. Will add it :D
Who cares about photography? Grace Kelly was absolutely stunning in this movie. Jimmy Stewart deserved an Oscar for his portrayal of a photographer who was more interested in looking out the window than at her.
 

Latest threads

Top Bottom