In 2007 Chicagoan John Maloof bought the contents of an abandoned storage unit for $400. Inside he discovered more than 100,000 negatives and 700 rolls of film that had been shot by the revered though little-known street photographer Vivian Maier (1926-2009). The ensuing journey of discovery retracing the secretive artist’s hazily-outlined biography became the subject of a forthcoming documentary directed and produced by Maloof and “Bowling for Columbine” producer Charlie Siskel.
Though the documentary, “Finding Vivian Maier,” isn’t slated to see the light of day until next year, the first trailer for the film (embedded below) offers a taste of the extensive research and interviews that Maloof has undertaken to help shed light on the mysterious photographer.
Interviews with the artist’s friends, landlords, and the grown-ups who, as children, she took care of, suggest that Maier took many of her formally astute documentary photography on the streets of Chicago while also working as a nanny. Since her work has been discovered in the past five years, collectors including Maloof and Jeffrey Goldstein have acquired her photos by the thousands, and in 2011 a selection of them was published in the book “Vivian Maier: Street Photographer.”
Watch the trailer for “Finding Vivian Maier”:
— Benjamin Sutton