Cameraperson

Kirsten Johnson’s landmark doc/memoir, one of the great films of the decade —

NR, 102 minutes

Brilliant Corners series 005

FREE & open to all | $10 Benefactor tickets available

Post-show discussion feat. scholar-artist Ethan Madarieta & Dr. Brett Kaplan (UIUC Comparative & World Literature)

A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage captured over the twenty-five-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative. A work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world. (2016, Kirsten Johnson, NR, 105 min)

” … one of the most original, challenging, sometimes infuriating documentaries of recent times. It’s well worth seeing and arguing about, but only if you can give it your full attention and glean the internal logic that went into its construction. And once you’ve done that, you will never forget what the movie showed you, or you own guesses about why it showed it to you, and how, and why.” -RogerEbert.com: Matt Zoller Seitz

“What in a lesser documentary might have been a voyeuristic abuse of African traditions for the consumption of white ex-colonizers, here appears as a genuine moment of connection and wordless communication between dancer and filmmaker. From these moments of human contact amid often terrible circumstances emanates the joy and heart of Johnson’s cinematography and the film itself.” -Movie Mezzanine: Elena Lazic 

“The camera is not just a tool, it speaks for us, it writes for us, and it’s also part of us. Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson continues the ongoing interrogation of the power of the camera in her new film, Cameraperson. A labor of love of the highest order.” -Film Comment: Michael Koresky 


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