This year at TIFF I saw a documentary that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. I.LOVE.DOCUMENTARIES. It’s a fact. Everyone should know it. I once stayed in all day and watched a documentary about the typeface Helvetica and then proceeded to watch one about confessions of some superheroes, orphaned animals after Hurricane Katrina and then finished off with Meryl Streep and Monther Courage. My social life is huge.
TIFF is a great place to see new and interesting documentaries. Last year I was obsessed with CASTING BY. This year the film I couldn’t stop talking about (it’s true, ask my friends and family) was FINDING VIVIAN MAIER. There is nothing I like more that a documentary about an interesting and mysterious person. Someone who I’ve never heard of and that I can later google for hours until I know absolutely everything about them. Once again, huge social life.
Vivan Maier is a giant mystery because she was discovered after her death. There really wasn’t anything about her out there until John Maloof, an amateur historian from Chicago discovered her photographs and made it his mission to give her the attention and praise she deserved. Maloof bought a box of her photographs at an auction and soon discovered he had stumbled upon something special. He became obsessed with her and soon found out that her personal life was just as beautiful, fascinating and mysterious as her photographs.
I won’t to tell you the rest of the story because you need to watch the documentary and experience it yourself. However, I will say that Maloof has done an incredible job showcasing Maier’s work around the world. This documentary and the books of her photographs that have now been published will guarantee that Maier will not be forgotten. Her work is so special that anyone that sees it will realize what a gift it was that she ever lived.
Learning about people like Maier remind me that no path is ever the right path. No one can tell you the best way to live your life or ever make you feel like you’re doing it all wrong. Vivian Maier definitely marched to the beat of her own drummer and she chose a life that was fulfilling FOR HER. She didn’t compromise herself or her art for anyone, and she definitely didn’t take photographs for anyone’s approval but her own.
Below are some of the gorgeous photographs featured in the documentary. I’m in love with the thought that she just walked around the city and captured candid moments that no one else would have paid attention to. She also knew what was going to be visually interesting even if the picture seemed like it was of nothing in particular. I’m obsessed.