The B Side by Errol Morris, a Documentary

Sand Edwards alerted me to this gem of a doco a few days ago….keep an eye open for it here……..The word below are a mini review from Hollywood Reporter.

Oscar-winning director Errol Morris turns his camera on a gifted photographer who specialized in large Polaroid pictures.
Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris has turned his camera on the famous and infamous, most notably on former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in The Fog of War. Now he has made one of his most charming and unassuming films in The B-Side, an affectionate portrait of his Boston friend and neighbor, Elsa Dorfman, a photographer who worked out of the limelight but created many lasting and telling images.

Morris is known for taking unconventional approaches to his subjects. Here there are no talking heads testifying to Dorfman’s value. She is virtually the only person on camera during this swift, 76-minute movie. But we get to know several of her friends and family through the photographs she took, which are lovingly displayed here.

Dorfman describes herself as “one lucky little Jewish girl” who benefited from a lifelong friendship with Allen Ginsberg and several of his cronies. Dorfman started taking black-and-white photos of writers like Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Lowell, W.H. Auden and Anais Nin. She also photographed singers Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. She tells one choice story of how she went to a Dylan concert, and her camera was confiscated until the singer intervened and got her backstage access.

Later she discovered a new medium when Polaroid introduced a camera that took large color photographs. Dorfman specialized in family portraits, and she says bluntly, “I am interested in the surfaces of people, not their souls.” She did not purvey the dark visions that stimulated a photographer like Diane Arbus, but her.

LINK to the trailer

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