The Collector: 10 Films for Photography Enthusiasts / A Month of Single Frames

Feb 19, 2024 • By Lk Rigor, MA Art Studies (Curatorial Studies)

Photography and cinema are kindred visual languages. For photographers looking for inspiration, here are 10 films to watch.

“Movies can be a fertile ground of inspiration for photographers looking to improve and find meaning in their craft. Since cameras are used in photography and cinema, they share technical aspects in image-making such as lighting, composition, exposure, and post-processing. As visual tools used to portray reality, fiction, or a mix of both, photos and films are also used to reflect on concepts surrounding history, memory, identity, humanity, and more. In this list, various filmmakers from Europe, Asia, and the United States offer visual inspiration and introspective views on the art of making pictures.

1. For Contemplating Memories Through Photography: Sans Soleil

2. Capturing Cityscapes: News From Home 

3. Defining Beauty: Claire’s Camera

4. On Experimenting: Emak-Bakia

5. Revisiting Old Photographs: A Month of Single Frames

“Eight years after a one-month residency in an off-grid shack, Barbara Hammer received her cancer diagnosis. A decade after the news, she started to look back at her personal archive as part of her art of dying. That year, in 2018, she entrusted the outputs from her residency to her filmmaker friend Lynne Sachs. A year later, the short film was released, and Hammer finally embraced eternal rest. As Hammer narrated her meditations about life, idyllic shots unfurled in this peaceful farewell: deep purple skies during sunset, long blades of grass dancing with the wind, and gentle rainfall outside the cabin window. This bittersweet tribute is a reminder that there are things that can only be discovered and realized in hindsight.”

6. Visualizing the World and Humanity: Koyaanisqatsi

7. Understanding Walter Benjamin’s Essay: Certified Copy

8. Trusting the Process: Mysterious Object at Noon 

9. Rethinking Your Purpose: The Spectre of Hope

10. Digging Through Photography Archives: To Pick a Flower