Five: Films with Photographers

Blow-Up (1966)

Take the consummate swingin' 1960's photographer with his womanizing too-cool-for-you lifestyle and put him right in the middle of a murder mystery. Then give it the kind of symbolic ending that makes a great majority of people hate European films.

The best scenes in Blow-Up find the photographer endlessly enlarging negatives to better see the evidence of a crime that may or may not have happened.

City Of God (2002)

A young man chooses between a life as a gang member in a violence-plagued slum in Rio De Janeiro or something more. He is drawn to a camera, ultimate choosing to document the tragedies around him as a means to rise above the poverty and hopelessness of his situation.

City Of God is a powerful statement of perseverance and one of the best movies that many have never seen.

One Hour Photo (2002)

A lonely and psychotic man works in the photo lab at a big box retailer. His obsession with one of his customers gets out of hand, causing him to lose his job and embark on what he sees as a noble mission to punish a husband for his infidelities.

Robin Williams plays as convincing of a psychopath as you'll ever see. He's remarkably creepy and unsettling, but somehow we feel compelled to empathize with him.

Pecker (1998)

A wide-eyed kid from Baltimore takes some photographs of the people in his neighborhood. A snooty New York art dealer discovers his work at the local deli and turns him to a star in the art world. And John Waters directs, so there's a good dose of filthy humor and outright bizarre characters.

Pecker is a love-hate sort of film. Either you laugh and eat it up or you sit and think about how much you despise everything about it for two hours. I think it's brilliant.

Rear Window (1954)

What's a photographer to do when he is confined to a bed in his apartment? Spy on the neighbors across the courtyard with a telephoto lens, find one of the neighbors attempting to cover up a crime, and end up face to face with the murderer himself after he knows he has been discovered.

I'm a huge Hitchcock fan, and Rear Window is one of his best. It's brilliant how the entire film is shot within one apartment and its view across a courtyard.