There is a new biography out about one of the greats of street photography, Garry Winogrand. It is called “ All Things Are Photographable “ and is directed by Sasha Waters Freyer. It will have its television debut on PBS this April 19. I recently had the opportunity to view the program and it is a must see if you have any interest in street photography.
Garry Winogrand ( 1928-1984 ) was one of the most influential street photographers the medium has ever seen. He worked mostly in black and white. He was at the height of his powers in the late 60’s thru the mid 70’s. Today he is mostly known for leaving behind 2500 rolls of undeveloped film and 6500 rolls that had yet to be proofed. He was a very prolific shooter. He was awarded three Guggenheim fellowships and a National Endowment of the Arts award. He published numerous books and was a popular speaker and taught at a number of university programs.
I first heard of “ All Things Are Photographable “ because of a Kickstarter program the the director was using to fund the production of the film. I attended a talk by Sasha Waters Freyer at the Los Angeles Leica Store last fall. She gave an entertaining presentation so I wash anxiously awaiting the finished film. I must say that I give the film two thumbs up. It did a good job of covering his life, both personally and professionally. There are a number of interviews with people who new Winogrand personally and were able to give a pretty good idea what he was like. I was disappointed that two of his best friends who are still around were not interviewed. One I kind of understand. Lee Friedlander is notoriously media shy was missing. I so wish he could have been interviewed. The other is Jay Maisel. He has never been shy to give an opinion. He is featured in a long audio recording with Winogrand that is the centerpiece of the documentary. Another thing that I didn’t like was the interview with Winogrands first wife. This brought nothing to the program and I felt that she actually detracted from the story. No I don’t want to hear the story about the first time she saw Gary’s penis. I didn’t like her other stories either.
The last third of the film does drag a little. This is about the last ten years or so of his life when his work was not quite up to par to his earlier work. After the early interviews with people talking about how great he was most didn’t seem to enthusiastic talking about the later years. I have been looking at his work for a long time and I feel it did drop off in quality. But that should not detract from the rest of his wonderful work.
Sasha Waters Freyer has done a great job on “ All Things Are Photographable “ the story of Garry Winogrand. I highly recommend the film. I love every time we see Garry and his Leica M4.