added: Wed, Apr 19th '17
Award-winning documentarian Errol Morris can't seem to resist his fascination with misunderstood eccentrics. The 69-year-old documentary legend, who is perhaps best known for his 1988 death-row doc "The Thin Blue Line" and his 2003 Oscar-winner "The Fog of War," is returning this year with a new character study about his very own neighbor, famed portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman.
In "The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography," Morris sits down with the 78-year-old Massachusetts photographer for a lengthy discussion about her decades-long career as an unconventional portrait artist, who got her first break in the '60s, shooting photos of beat poet-era celebrities like Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan. But lately, Dorfman has been known for working with a large-format (yet now discontinued) Polaroid camera, producing wall-sized portraits.
When asked about the current state of the photography business where "film is no longer available," a disheartened Dorfman looks off camera in the newly released trailer and says, "I tried to deny it. All of the sudden, these cameras -- they're artifacts like ashtrays. And they threw away the most wonderful things."
"The B-Side" premiered to rave reviews at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. It's now slated for a theatrical release on June 2nd.
Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman found her medium in 1980: the larger-than-life Polaroid Land 20x24 camera. For the next thirty-five years she captured the "surfaces" of those who visited her Cambridge, Massachusetts studio: families, Beat poets, rock stars, and Harvard notables. As pictures begin to fade and her retirement looms, Dorfman gives Errol Morris an inside tour of her backyard archive.
directed by Errol Morris
release date June 2, 2017 (in theaters)