SXSW Day 1 – 52 Films By Women Week 9

I’m going to play some catch up on the 52 Films by Women project while I’m at SXSW since I missed last week with my transition.  I’ve seen one film so far today, but my next one won’t get out until Midnight so I’ll talk about it in my next post.  This is my first attempt at blogging purely from my iPhone so forgive the short form format.

Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson, 2016)

Created out of 25 years of archival documentary footage, cinematographer Kristen Johnson presents “Cameraperson” as her memoir.  Mixing stunning photography with offhanded comments never intended for public consumption, we get a surprisingly personal picture of Kirsten despite no traditional storytelling tactics.  The film jumps for location to location while still maintaining a coherent feel.  Extremely emotional scenes are intercut with jovial bits of behind-the-scene joking which keeps the pace crisp despite the non-narrative nature.

Given that nature, I’ll admit that this film is not for everyone, but if it’s for anyone it’s made especially for me.  If I could restart and have any profession, I’d love nothing more than to be a documentary cinematographer.  Sitting behind a camera and capturing human emotions in as candid a way possible intrigues me.  Johnson has been successful doing this her entire career, and amazingly manages to capture what it’s like to live her life without ever turning the camera around.

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