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Real estate agent John Maloof explains how a trip to a local auction house, in search for old pictures to use for a history book about his neighborhood, resulted in him bidding and winning a box full of old negatives. John goes through the massive quantity of negatives, describes how impressed he is by the quality of the images, becomes quickly determined they are not reverent to his project and just puts them away. That could have very likely had been the end of the story, if the power of the images had not pushed him to fall in love with photography. John confides that his photo hobby quickly motivated him to set up a darkroom and devote large amounts of time printing. As he learned more about photography, he recognized that those negatives he had bought, then stored, were the work of a real master. In an attempt to confirm his suspicion, he selected about 100 images and put them online with the hope that the feedback would confirm his judgement as to the strength of the images.Written by
Lane J. Lubell of Cinemashadow.com
John Maloof buys one lot of photo negatives at a local auction house for $380 in 2007. He's looking for old pictures of Chicago to put in a picture book. He purchases the rest of the negatives from the other buyers and finds out after goggling that she was actually just a nanny. Her works find recognition as Maloof starts displaying them. She was also a pack rat and he pieces together her life from all of material she saved up. She seems like an eccentric private person who took pictures all the time. She would even bring her young charges to the slums to take interesting photographs. He continues to dig into her life and finds some fascinating mysteries.
First off, the pictures look beautiful. I really like the photos of people especially. Shooting from below gives a majesty to the subjects. That's the hook. Then there is the mystery of the nanny. It's a fascinating reveal as Maloof interview some of Vivian's charges. The fact that she seems to be alone raises the mystery factor. The only drawback is Maloof himself. There is probably some self serving purpose going on here and he's not the best narrator for the purpose. However I'm just drawn in by this private woman. I find her fascinating.
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