Thursday, November 29, 2012
Helen Levitt: 95 Lives (A Kickstarter Film by Tanya Sleiman)
Posted by Jay at 6:34 PM
The Internet has been a wonderful tool for introducing thousands of photographers to the pioneers and artists of the industry. Unfortunately, there are still many worthy photographers whose works deserve more attention than they're currently getting. One Kickstarter film project, entitled 95 Lives by Tanya Sleiman, is hoping to show the world more about one such street photographer: Helen Levitt.
Helen Levitt has already been featured on this blog for her witty and charming street photographs of New York City beginning in the 1930s. Unfortunately her pictures don't seem to get enough credit when compared to the more famous names like Henri Cartier-Bresson. Now, a new documentary is hoping to change that with a few film makers reaching out through Kickstarter to help fund the project.
The film by Tanya Sleiman is called 95 Lives, and aims to reveal more about the enigmatic photographer (who lived to the age of 95) through reenactments of some of her more famous photographs. From the Kickstarter project description. "Before street photographers took Manhattan by storm, there was Helen Levitt. An artistic pioneer and the ultimate photographer’s photographer, Levitt lived as a total enigma, determined to dodge the public eye in favor of what she loved most: poker, baseball, and, above all, capturing the city at play. 95 Lives searches for the many, colorful lives of this female pioneer and the formidable contributions she made to 20th century art and to the city that shaped her incredible body of work: New York.
95 Lives goes back in time to explore Levitt’s near-century life and the rich, textured worlds through which she so seamlessly navigated: the energy of 1920's Brooklyn, the avant-garde art scene of 1930's Manhattan, the poker mavericks, the Lindy Hoppers, and the non-actors who beautifully performed in Levitt’s street dramas."
There are more details on the Helen Levitt documentary film, 95 Lives, on the Kickstarter page. The film by Tanya Sleiman is trying to raise funds until December 16. This previous post on the New York street photographer should be a good start for those not familiar with her works.