British film director Gerald Fox has produced many portraits of artists, photographers in particular. But Robert Frank, while being an artist who opens up about his own life through his work, was nonetheless a man of mystery, complicated, withdrawn from the world. Gerald Fox revisits the story of this film, just like Frank himself, with its ups and downs, but above all exciting and human.
Robert Frank is without doubt the most "mythical" of the unknown photographers.
Though recognition came late for his photographic masterpiece The Americans and his dark take on the USA, he was also an independent filmmaker, retired to Nova Scotia, fleeing the celebrations.
To such an extent that in 1994, the New York Times led with "Where have you gone, Robert Frank?"
So when director Gerald Fox got a call from Frank: "OK, I'm up for making a film with you," he had good reason to be surprised! He recalls for us his intense meeting with the photographer that leads to a strong, sensitive film: Leaving Home, Coming Home.
In addition to the award-winning feature film, a short video film is on offer, The Detours of Robert Frank, by a collective of directors. The interview is rare, atypical, as Robert Frank is simple and relaxed, almost debonair. The film also contains excerpts from his films Pull My Daisy, Conversations in Vermont and Home Improvements.
This filmmaker's eye, and Frank's to-ing and fro-ing with photography are at the heart of the article "The Uncomfortable Mr Frank", which includes a complete filmography.
Robert Frank made very few concessions; whether to success, to style, or to photography itself.
But in the visual language he created from film and photo, in this form of poetic writing, made up of scraps and fragments, of fits of enthusiasm closely followed by despair, he built a singular work.
Every month, films and articles to inspire your photography
• THE AMERICANS - artist: Robert Frank ; introduction: Jack Kerouac ; 1959 ; Grove Press
• THE LINES OF MY HAND - artist: Robert Frank ; 1972 ; Lustrum Press
• MOVING OUT - artist: Robert Frank ; 1995 ; Scalo
• LONDON / WALES - artist: Robert Frank ; author: Philip Brookman ; 2007 ; Steidl Verlag
• PARIS - artist: Robert Frank ; 2008 ; Steidl Verlag
• PERU - artist: Robert Frank ; 2008 ; Steidl Verlag
• IN AMERICA - artist: Robert Frank ; 2014 ; Steidl Verlag
• HOLD STILL - KEEP GOING - artist: Robert Frank ; author: Christophe Ribbat ; 2016 ; Steidl Verlag
• ROBERT FRANK: GOOD DAYS QUIET - 2019 ; Steidl
• ROBERT FRANK: BOOKS AND FILMS, 1947-2019 - author: Gerhard Steidl ; 2020 ; Steidl Verlag
• PULL MY DAISY (1959)
• ME & MY BROTHER (1965-1968)
• CONVERSATIONS IN VERMONT (1969)
• COCKSUCKER BLUES (1972)
• LIFE DANCES ON (1980)
• HOME IMPROVEMENTS (1985)
• TRUE STORY (2004)
• TUNNEL (2005)