Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable is the first cinematic survey of Winogrand’s work, including selections from over 300,000 frames of film still undeveloped upon his unexpected death in 1984 at age 56.
The pictorial biography — which opens tomorrow in New York City, in Los Angeles on September 28th, and additional cities to follow — flows with interviews from his friends, family, colleagues, and archived recordings of Winogrand himself. His appearances speaking at a public lecture, in his gruff Bronx streetwise accent, explain what his art, especially those famed images, is about.
Winogrand was seemingly everywhere in during the 1960’s and 70’s, capturing the serendipity of happenings on the city streets from New York City to Los Angeles with a sharp documentarian eye for detail. The film tackles the work beyond his black-and-white greatest hits, creating a biography that goes further than seen before, all while observing themes of cultural upheaval, intimacy, alienation, and deeper consideration of his art.
His Leica M4 snapped images of everyday people over three decades, including spontaneous Manhattan street interaction, the birth of the American middle-class suburbs, the early years of the Women’s Movement, and the post-Golden Age Marilyn-era Hollywood. Included is an interview with Matthew Weiner, the creator of TV series Mad Men, who cites Winograd’s numerous photographs and film footage as an indisputable influence for the show’s award-winning production design.
Winogrand is known for his black-and-white images, which he shot so he could make contact sheets and work prints in his own darkroom. He was prolific, shooting up to 600 rolls of film each year. He is described in the film as a “poet, athlete, and philosopher” of photography, and someone who truly mirrors America at a that moment in time. One of his first shows was New Documents at the MOMA in 1967, a trio exhibition with Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus.
Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable is also about an artist’s rise and fall from the 1950’s to the mid-80’s. “This is a film primarily about photography, one that explores Garry Winogrand’s tremendous contributions to the art form and his lasting influence on how we think of the medium today. But it is also a film that, I hope, explores and explodes the cliché of the undomesticated, self-destructive genius – one who is fundamentally unsuited to family life,” says director Sasha Waters Freyer in her director’s statement.