Finding Vivian Maier

(USA, 2013, 83 mins, DCP)
FEATURING John Maloof, Mary Ellen Mark, Joel Meyerowitz, Phil Donahue, Duffy Lavant
Classification: Unclassified, Membership Required


Sep 19 08:20 pm
Sep 20 06:30 pm

When Vivian Maier passed away only four years ago almost nobody knew it, or cared. She had lived an anonymous life, never married, estranged from her family and virtually friendless, a professional nanny who had failed to forge lasting, long-term relationships. She was secretive, private and obsessed with her hobby, photography — though typically she kept her photos to herself.

It was only when amateur historian John Maloof happened to pick up a job-lot of her belongings in a thrift auction that anyone had the first inkling Vivian was an artist, a photographer whose astonishing images merit comparison with such giants as Diane Arbus, Weegee, Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The right man in the right place, Maloof recognized the treasure trove he had chanced across, and movie camera in hand he set about uncovering Maier’s mysterious and (as it turns out) extraordinary life story. At the same time, he discovered her storage locker, gaining access to hundreds and thousands of prints and undeveloped rolls of film. Interviewing the families she lived with and some of today’s top photographers, Maloof constructs a compelling and eye-opening introduction to a major body of work.

"Compelling... haunting... captivating." — Variety

"Poignant, informative, occasionally disturbing." — Globe and Mail