Return to Arles

by John G. Morris
August 2006

Arles is the mother of all photography festivals. It was founded 37 years ago by photographer Lucien Clergue and two other Arlesiens. Lucien was recently elected to the Academy of Fine Arts at the Institut de France, the first photographer to be so honored.
In 1980 I went to Arles to project the work and the words of W. Eugene Smith. You could have heard a pin drop in the great old Roman amphitheater. After we moved to Paris in 1983, my wife Tana and I went to Arles almost every year, the last time in 2002 when the great Czech photographer Josef Koudelka took over the town. Thereafter, it seemed, Arles to me was overshadowed by the photojournalism festival at Perpignan called Visa Pour l’Image.

ARLES, FRANCE: First-day audiences at the 2006 Recontres d’Arles festival of photography look at the exhibition of photographs taken in North Korea by Phillipe Chancel.

Dirck Halstead

Continue reading “Return to Arles”

Robert Capa and Gerda Taro: love in a time of war

Capa and Taro lived, loved and died on the frontline, becoming the most famous war photographers of their time. As a new novel about them is published, the Guardian explores their real relationship

Portrait of Taro And Capa

Gerda Taro and and Robert Capa: reinvented themselves and war photography. Photograph: Fred Stein Archive/Getty Images
It begins with a photograph. In 1934 a struggling Hungarian photographer, Andr? Friedmann, living in exile in Paris, is commissioned to take publicity pictures for a Swiss life insurance company’s advertising brochure. On the lookout for potential models, he approaches a young Swiss refugee, Ruth Cerf, in a caf? on the Left Bank and convinces her to pose for him in a Montparnasse park.
Because she does not entirely trust the scruffy young charmer, Ruth brings along her friend Gerta Pohorylle, a petite redhead with a winning smile and a confident manner. So begins the most iconic relationship in the history of photography, and an intertwined and complex story of radical politics, bohemianism and bravery that, in the intervening years, has taken on the shadings of a modern myth. Continue reading “Robert Capa and Gerda Taro: love in a time of war”

The Mexican suitcase

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Trisha Ziff is a curator of photography and documentary film maker whose films, focus on the photographic image. A Guggenheim scholar, her exhibitions have been seen at major international museums including: Victoria & Albert Museum, London; California Museum of Photography, international Center for Photography New York and Centro de la Imagen Mexico City. Her exhibitions have looked at Mexican photography, the event of Bloody Sunday in Ireland, Hidden Truths and the famous image of Che Guevara, by Korda.

Message from Trisha:
My film, The Mexican Suitcase, is in DOCUWEEKS! This means that after screenings in New York and Los Angeles we’ll have accreditation giving us the possibility of being short listed for an Oscar nomination! Our film will be at the IFC cinemas in New York and Laemmle 5 in LA with the other DOCUWEEKS films.
The Mexican Suitcase is a 90 minute feature documentary that tells the extraordinary story of the recovery of 4,500 negatives taken by photographers Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour during the Spanish Civil War, with an extraordinary score by composer, Michael Nyman. The film reveals the story of the journey of these lost negatives from France to Mexico. I became involved in the story early on and was able to recover the negatives for the families of the photographers and personally returned them to their estates in New York. The story was on the front page of newspapers the world over… Finally, I was able to secure the rights to make this film and three years later, here it is!! The film is getting recognition, being seen at festivals as Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Morelia FF, LALIFF,DOCMIAMI and Dubai FF and we are still waiting to hear from many others.
DOCUWEEKS is unique. It gives us this incredible opportunity for an Oscar nomination run. However, to do this we need to raise the necessary funds. This is where you come in! Friends of our film.
DOCUWEEKS is expensive. We have had to pay our percentage of participipating, make a trailer, poster, postcards and hire a publicist! it all adds up to $45,000. We have received some initial donations and generous in-kind support too but we still need to raise a further $20,000. Every dollar helps!
The Mexican Suitcase, is a film about photography. Pictures taken by photographers who would become icons of the twentieth century – They photographed with a Leica and changed the way we saw war. All three would die while documenting wars. The Mexican Suitcase tells their story. It is is also a film about the power of memory. It’s a great story and asks… Who owns our histories? Why does the past matter today?
Funds raised by Kickstarter will be used only to help the film with DOCUWEEKS in Los Angeles and New York. As a result of these 2 week screenings, The Mexican Suitcase will qualify for academy consideration. Help us please to reach our goal and take this opportunity to the next level so we can be shortlisted for Oscar nomination.
Trisha Ziff – Director.