Besides watching Stranger Things, I did watch some other films, one of these being this astounding documentary about the nonentity, yet wonderful photographer known as Vivian Maier. Unravelling like a mystery, Finding Vivian Maier keeps you constantly invested, planting little nuggets of information along the way that help you form your opinion about Vivian’s enigma.
You could say the documentary works in a very standard format, interviews are conducted and the artist’s pictures are tagged along the film’s runtime, but what puts this over something like a t.v. special per say, is its puzzling centerpiece. Although it does analyze and talk about the Maier’s art, the documentary doesn’t reference the finding of Maier’s mounts of negatives and developed film, but rather the quest to find out who Vivian was. The photography produced by Maier does play an integral part of the story, but Maloof decides to take on the creator behind the meaning of the picture rather than the meaning of the picture itself. He goes down an investigative path to try and collect the remnants of Maier that would define her today, collecting information about her various quirks, behaviors, way of life, and reclusiveness that help you understand why she never made her pictures public and the way she was.
The mood of the film is rather drastic considering at one point this film went from Nanny McPhee to Mommie Dearest before ending on an uplifting beat. The film traverses some rough territory in an unflinching way but never focuses on it so much to mar your concept of Maier, it just feeds with anecdotes that help you come towards your own conclusion of who and why she was such an elusive woman.
There’s not much to say besides stating Finding Vivian Maier is a solid documentary about identity and art. It examines its subject heavily and presents you with an intriguing tale beside it. Finding Vivian Maier is definately worth checking out if you have the time as it serves as proper meditation on the concept of what it means to be an artist, whether you work in the shadows are announce yourself to the world with every piece you create.