Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye Image

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  • Summary: This documentary is a wonderfully evocative biography of the man considered to be the greatest photographer of the last Century and the grandfather of photojournalism.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. He rarely allowed himself to be interviewed, but Henri Cartier-Bresson, here nearing 100, comes off as a marvelous, spritely, and companionable figure.
  2. The documentary, which subscribes to the Great Man school of reverential portraiture, is not a biography but an interview (in French, simultaneously translated into English) conceived as a master class on art appreciation, with guest commentators augmenting Cartier-Bresson's own sparsely chosen words.
  3. 63
    Overall, it's like watching a home movie of a charming relative.
  4. 58
    It isn't a biography of the legendary photographer, and it's not exactly an essay. Mostly, Bütler fills the screen with Cartier-Bresson's photographs while people explain their greatness.
  5. Deeply frustrating because of its brevity and its lack of solid information and historical context.
  6. Reviewed by: R. Emmet Sweeney
    Such informality leads to numerous lulls, but when the photographer perks up the results are delightful.
  7. Reviewed by: Kenneth Baker
    A viewer of the film misses any sense of what distinguishes a great Cartier-Bresson picture from a good one, never mind a bad one. And the photographer himself cannot have been happy with the short shrift the documentary gives to drawing, which occupied him through most of his last decades.

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