As a visually radical memoir, Cameraperson draws on the remarkable footage that Kirsten Johnson has shot and reframes it in ways that illuminate moments and situations that have personally affected her.
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Interesting to see the range of responses to this film here. I went into it expecting at least to be consistently engaged by the shot-making, and I was not disappointed on that score. Interweaving her own family life into passages from a variety of territories marked by trauma--war, rape, displacement, a mother's suicide--was a dicey move, but Johnson makes it work. The uplift is slight, the sadness stark.
Every aspiring documentarian should see this; a snapshot collection of illuminating moments that may not have the pristine cinematographic grandeur of Fricke's 'Baraka' and 'Samsara' but more than compensates through KJ's authentic integration with a variety of cultures and contexts. If you are a traveller, why not turn that hobby into an account of the smorgasbord of humanity?
Frankly over-rated documentary from cinematographer Kirsten Johnson who has made a self described 'self-portrait' by editing various scenes that she has shot together leaving the audience to interpret the impact and meaning. Some see this as profound but I see it as emotionally void and without much impact. Better off seeing the films she shot.
WHAT!???!!!!!!??? Is this "Cameraperson" everybody talk & praise, really???!!?!? I can't believe this is That "Cameraperson," I can't stand this pompous incoherence & fragmentarily discursive editing with which Johnson confuses cinematic technique like saying "Hey audiences, I put footages here so you interpret this as you like, Byebye!" I think this is "Suicide Squad" documentary version. Boring as hell.
Expected it to be profound. Concept is itself profound. Self-portrait via residuum. Think frenetic James Benning meets soporific Jonas Mekas, but very much an extension of popular documentary practices. What I was not expecting was to find a movie so sorta completely depressing and weirdly spiritually void. Life is unpleasant and a lot of work. Some pertinent stuff towards the end, however, of tremendous insight.
The things that happen moments before, moments after, the shots we see on screen. It only takes a slight widening of perspective for cinematographer Kirsten Johnson to insert herself - humble & intimate - into our view, transforming familiar moments from her prolific career into something deeply, even urgently, human. Inspiring, if not consistently compelling. And an interesting comment on the gloss of the image. 3.5
“She sees everything but she’s blind like the philosopher who fell into the well while looking at the stars.” Derrida, saving Cameraperson from stumbling and falling in the street. [somewhere near the beginning].