Magnum in Motion: Photographers and the Moving Image May 30 - June 4, 2007
In conjunction with the Magnum photo agency, and on the occasion of its 60th anniversary, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is pleased to present Magnum in Motion, a showcase of documentary films that demonstrates the length to which the members of the self-governing collective have gone to pursue their goal of capturing the “decisive moment”—and the life-threatening risks they’ve sometimes taken in doing so. This is not hyperbole: two of Magnum’s four co-founders lost their lives while on assignment. In 1954, during the First Indochina War, Robert Capa stepped on a landmine. (Arguably the greatest war photographer of all time, Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”) David “Chim” Seymour was killed by Egyptian machine-gun fire during the 1956 Suez War. As legend has it, both men died with cameras in their hands.
The program is loaded with historically charged time capsules from Magnum’s past. The film’s subjects are as diverse as the photographers who chased them, and range from Eve Arnold’s Eve and Marilyn, an exploration of her working relationship with Marilyn Monroe, to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Le Retour, an examination of the plight of POWs and detainees in Germany at the end of WWII, to Jean Gaumy’s La Boucane, a lyrical investigation of the woman of Fécamp, Normandy, who fillet herring for a living. (Gaumy’s film is a fascinating example of what can happen when a photographer not only puts things in motion, but does so with an ultra-keen ear—the film’s soundtrack is visceral and extraordinary.) Although not a complete retrospective, the series clearly demonstrates the scope of the Magnum vision.
On Sunday, June 3 at 2pm Magnum Agency photographers Susan Meiselas, Jonas Bendiksen, Thomas Dworzak, Chris Anderson will join Mark Whitaker (former editor at Newsweek) and Thomas Roma (director of photography at Columbia University) for Magnum and the Future of Photojournalism, a free panel discussion onstage at the Walter Reade Theater . The event will also feature clips from Magnum photographers multimedia essays which are tailor made to the web experience.
Calendar to view the schedule, film descriptions and, to purchase tickets online.
Photo credit for the banner image: detail from "Magnum photographers during the annual meeting" by Elliott Erwitt, 1988.
Special thanks to Dominique Green of Magnum Photos London, Mark Lubell and Shoka Javadiangilani of Magnum Photos New York and especially Alrun Steinrueck, the original exhibition curator at Berlinale 2007.
Magnum Photos is celebrating 60 years as an independent agency and artistic cooperative. Timed to correspond with this seminal anniversary, the Magnum Festival will embrace various aspects of the past 60 years of documentary as well as promote the importance for responsible documentary work in the future. Through a series of city wide events the Magnum Festival will highlight photography, film and journalism. For more information, go to magnumfestival.org