Street photography, a modern marvel that has gripped the art community with its potent relevance and appeal to contemporary style, has finally been given the attention it deserves. Filmmaker/photographer and now director Cheryl Dunn and her team have released the much-anticipated documentary Everybody Street at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto. Dates on its release in the states are still pending.
The 83-minute documentary consists of over a dozen distinguished photographers of varying perspectives and credentials, covering the history and facets of one of the world’s most enigmatic and engrossing settings: New York City. The film features the work and stories of photographers including Bruce Davidson, whose work has been claimed as some of the most prominent pieces of modern photography, covering a 50-year career of dedication to the streets. Other featured artists include Martha Cooper, Elliott Erwitt, Jill Freedman, Bruce Gilden, Max Kozloff, Rebecca Lepkoff, Mary Ellen Mark, Jeff Mermelstein, Joel Meyerowitz, Clayton Patterson, Ricky Powell, Jamel Shabazz, Boogie and Luc Sante.
The film spans nearly 60 years of NYC’s history through the photography and real life experiences as told by the artists themselves, delving into the lives of the people behind the camera lens and shining new light on the connection between the message and the messenger. The artists entailed are comprised of writers, critics, foreigners, natives, as well as lifelong photographers, each with their own story to contribute on the complexities and splendors of New York’s street society.
Everybody Street puts photography under the microscope, revealing the prevalence that these photographers have taken on in the world with an uncanny and sometimes unsettling way of presenting proof of irony and effortless beauty that can be found in the streets of one of the largest, notoriously ‘ugly’ cities known to man.
Some artists share more intrepid tales of how they pushed the city to its limits to a dangerous degree in pursuit of the preservation of the hidden underbelly of New York, putting their lives at risk for a few rare and priceless snapshots. The film stretches the definition of art into something naturally occurring and captured, it seems, solely by perspective.
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Watch the trailer for Everybody Street: