Directed by John Walker
Although his influence on the history of photography has been nothing short of profound, Paul Strand (1890-1976) remains a curiously shrouded and paradoxical figure. While passionately devoted to humanity, he was happiest in the isolation of the darkroom. A pioneer filmmaker, (Manhatta, Native Land, Heart of Spain, The Wave
), he found the process of collaboration painful.
Strand established himself in New York in the 1920s as a master of light and structure, with his now famous photo of Wall Street inspired by the forms and movement of European modernist painters such as Matisse and Picasso. His closeup portraits and landscapes were equally profound.
John Walker's Strand: Under the Dark Cloth
is a documentary that is "beautifully crafted, thoroughly researched and intimately recounted" (Variety
) with generous amounts of Strand's most famous photographs, clips from his films and collaborators including Fred Zinnemann, Cesare Zavattini and Georgia O'Keeffe.
It is a valuable and comprehensive introduction to the life and work of Paul Strand suitable for both art historians and general viewers alike.
"A resonant portrait of the photographer who defined the style that came to be called modern." - Cameron Baily, Now Magazine
"Paul Strand is the greatest American photographer...simply the biggest, widest, most commanding talent in the history of American photography." - Susan Sontag