Films: Beyond Iconic

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Beyond Iconic

Beyond Iconic

USA, 2011, 75 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Art/Filmmaking, Biographical, Documentary
Program: Documentary Films
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Hanna Sawka Hamaguchi
Producer: Jun Sawka Hamaguchi (exec), Hanna Sawka Hamaguchi
Editor: Hanna Sawka Hamaguchi
Cinematographer: Mateusz Broughton
Principal Cast: 

The black-and-white photos are as familiar as they are striking; not so the name Dennis Stock. Hanna Sawka Hamaguchi’s documentary makes us wonder why the late photographer should not have been just as well known as the images that are his legacy (among them that indelible portrait of James Dean wandering the rain-slicked streets of Times Square). Stock’s crystal-clear and unwavering belief in artistic integrity serve as reminders that great art is the result of lifelong dedication to the pursuit of perfection.

Hamaguchi stuck close to home for this intimate look into the life and teachings of Stock. A longtime resident of upstate New York, she enlisted a crew of locals to film him at home and at the workshop where he taught photography with stern but fair command. Even the evocative and pitch-perfect jazz score is composed and performed by fellow upstaters John Menegon and Teri Roiger.

The director balances Stock’s quiet, contemplative life with his wife and pets against his worldly, vibrant, and yet somehow equally intimate portraits of actors, musicians, and a generation of iconoclasts struggling to find meaning in an increasingly pop culture–driven America. While his pictures need no explanation, Hamaguchi allows Stock’s belief in his work to echo with the same eloquence, clarity, and confidence they emanate.

In cooperation with Colorado Photographic Arts Center

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