Jun 2, 2018

Art Movies: BBC’s Genius of Photography

If you’re wondering what to watch this weekend, this new column on our blog is just for you. Every two weeks we’re going to recommend you quality movies about art that have received critical acclaim and withstood the test of time. The first one coming is the BBC’s documentary on history of photography.

Just over a decade ago, BBC Four released an outstanding six part documentary detailing the developments in photography over its history. The documentary was well received and has maintained high ratings on IMDB and the like. In fact, the public demand for more was high enough to justify the release of a book called The Genius of Photography: How Photography Has Changed Our Lives, for which the author, Gerry Badger, also received huge critical acclaim.

The first three episodes explore the development of photographic methods, the scientific application of photography, the role of photography in the context of war and other human crises. The final three episodes explore the transition from the golden age of photography in the 1950s through to the role of photography at the time of production in the mid 2000s. A number of poignant questions are raised throughout the series regarding the omnipresence of photography, its potential to reveal and deceive and the paradoxical value of photography – a medium which is ubiquitous but for which the sale prices are, nevertheless, skyrocketing.

Here are some of the classic photos you’ll learn about from the movie.

“D14” by Man Ray

“Migrant Mother” by Dorothea Lang

“Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death” by Robert Capa