After watching this I just wanted to quietly take my camera and pack it away in the deepest darkness corner of my closet. I mean, what's the use. A strange tragic tale of an amazingly talented and deeply disturbed woman. The faces she captured! Does such even exist any more?
A riveting investment in my insomnia. First of all, Maier's work is gorgeous. But this documentary raises deeper questions about art and the human sacrifice that is not only entailed in making it, but in living together in this sad and beautiful world we share.
Fairly good profile of an outsider artist that looks at both the positive and the negative, the brilliance and the uncomfortable facts. However... so frackin' elitist. "Why would a nanny take all these photos?" "Being so creative but being a maid, a nanny, it must've been galling." This doc could make me rage. But in the end, I should reserve my anger for The Art World™. This film is merely one piece of evidence.
Documentarian as entrepreneur, and documentary as promotional scheme - slick, but so self-satisfied & brazen that it's clear Maloof has fully swallowed the worldview in which one exists primarily as a Marketable Brand, in an exploitable world. I kind of feel like Maier might've despised him... I'm with a lot of my fellow reviewers - 5 stars for Vivian; 3 for this contrived, ethically vacuous, reality show of a doc.
First of all, just beautifully put together. This is a fascinating study, part revelation, part detective film, that unfolds in surprising and provocative ways. For those of us not familiar with her work, the first images are startling. That's only the start of a moving and thought provoking film that in searching for answers raises larger and sometimes troubling questions. Highly recommended.
Never has such an artless film been made about such a deeply artful and private person. Staggeringly beautiful photography discovered by a dude-bro who shrugs his way through the ethics of appropriation and then treats us to speeded up slideshow of him playing detective. We don't get to look at a single photo for more than ten seconds. In a documentary about a photographer.
After years of photography courses where so few women's work would be classified as "great," I was overjoyed to see Maier's phenomenal photos. She frames shots like Gary Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank...all the great modern male photographers, and adds something more. It's breath-taking work. The tale of her life is heart-breaking, yet what she managed to accomplish despite the obstacles is so inspiring.
I cannot assess this as a work of documentary because of Maloof's financial interests in the sale of Maier's works. This is advertisement for a product. The film itself is a well-constructed presentation of the life of an artist whose work speaks to me personally and deserves exposure, but no matter how well-intentioned, ultimately it can only be considered a good commercial.
Despite some tedious interviews toward the end, the collector and filmmaker tells the story of the enigmatic and talented photographer. He weaves together his own story of discovery when he purchased a storage locker auction lot that contained tens of thousands of never developed photo negatives, her story to the extent it is known, and the mysteries of what is not known with a tribute to her immense talent.
Fascinating documentary of the great but enigmatic artist. Some criticize it for being more about Maloof's investigation than Maier herself. The title tells you what it's about, though. Almost nothing was known about her. This is the investigation into who she was. We learn a lot about her in the process. She was so good at protecting her secrets that many of our questions remain unanswered by the end of the film.