Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography

2016, Errol Morris, USA, 76 min.

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Show Times

  • Fri, Aug 18th 2:00pm
  • Fri, Aug 18th 8:15pm
  • Sat, Aug 19th 6:30pm
  • Sun, Aug 20th 3:00pm
  • Mon, Aug 21st 6:00pm
  • Tue, Aug 22nd 8:15pm
  • Wed, Aug 23rd 6:00pm
  • Thu, Aug 24th 8:15pm

“Enjoyable but also profound…Ms. Dorfman emerges as an artist of deep compassion, empathy, humor and wisdom.” — Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

"So vast, so bittersweet and so kind and giving, a brilliantly casual portrait." — Ray Pride, Newcity

Best-known for probing famous and notorious subjects with his straight-in-the-eye Interrotron camera set-up, seminal documentarian Morris (THE THIN BLUE LINE, THE FOG OF WAR) takes a more casual approach in this affectionate portrait of his friend and Cambridge neighbor, photographer Elsa Dorfman. Self-described as “a lucky little Jewish girl,” Dorfman discovered photography at age 28 and produced memorable black-and-white images of such literary and musical luminaries as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Audre Lorde, Jorge Luis Borges, and longtime friend Allen Ginsberg. In 1980, she gained access to one of Polaroid’s massive 20x24 color cameras, which she used for life-sized portraits of non-famous people who commissioned her to record birthdays, anniversaries, births, and family portraits. The expense of the process limited Dorfman to two exposures of each subject; the client would choose one, and the other would remain in her files as a “B-side.” Most of the film is set in Dorfman’s garage/studio/archive as she relates the stories behind her B-sides, mixing autobiography with down-to-earth insights on photography’s relationship to time and memory. DCP digital widescreen. (MR)

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