Kev’s Flick List

Under Fire, 1983 * * * * *
Nick Nolte, Gene Hackman and Joanna Cassidy play journalists caught up in Nicaragua’s 1979 civil war.

Watch here for Nolte’s authentic photojournalist. They must have hired a consultant for this one. The equipment is period and authentically beaten to a pulp. They even dubbed over the correct motor drive sound effect for the Nikon F2 he uses — as opposed to most films which feel the need to use a motor drive sound on a hand-wound camera. Nolte faces several ethical questions about taking sides in his work.

Before the Rain, 1995 * * * * *
Gregoire Colin plays a Pulitzer-winning photographer caught in the strife of his home in Macedonia.

A film about the war in the Balkans, a photojournalist’s struggle with the morality of his work, and the tangled web of the character’s lives. A stunningly photographed film that questions the ethics of this profession and exposes the waste of ethnic hatred.

Pecker, 1998 * * * * *
John Waters’ semi-autobiographical film about a young upstart photographer who becomes famous overnight.

This one’s a charming fun poke at the art world and the way documentary images can be seen by their subjects. Featuring Edward Furlong as Pecker and Christina Ricci the girlfriend.

The Killing Fields, 1984 * * * * *
Haing S. Ngor plays Dith Pran, a Cambodian photographer who struggles to survive the genocide of the Khmer Rouge.

Based on the story of New York Times correspondent Sydney Schanberg (Sam Waterston) and his efforts to rescue photographer Pran from Cambodia following Pol Pot’s ascension to power. Dith Pran has been a staff photographer at the New York Times since his escape.

Salvador, 1985 * * * *
James Woods, James Belushi cover civil war-torn El Salvador.

Based on script co-author Richard Boyle’s own journalistic experiences, Woods and company drive from California to El Salvador for the thrill of the coverage.

Blowup, 1966 * * *
David Hemmings plays a fashion photographer apparently based on photographer David Bailey in the mod 1960’s.

A joyride of the aimless, decadent lifestyle of a London fashion photographer who may have photographed a murder. It’s an old cult classic from when sex and nudity actually shocked the public.

Rear Window, 1954 * * * *
Jimmy Stewart plays a bored, wheelchair bound photographer who spies on his neighbors.

One of Hitchcock’s finest in which the photographer thinks he’s discovered a murder and nobody believes him.

The Public Eye, 1992 * * *
Joe Pesci plays a photographer based on famed New York crime photographer Weegee.


War Photographer, 2001 * * * * *
A film about the working life of war photographer James Nachtwey.

A documentary in which film maker Christian Frei attaches tiny video cameras to Nachtwey's equipment. The viewer sees what the photographer sees as he shoots. You’ll see interviews with veteran war correspondents on what makes Nachtwey tick; including Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent of CNN, Hans-Hermann Klare, Foreign Editor of STERN Magazine, Christiane Breustedt, Editor-in-Chief of GEO SAISON Magazine, and other friends and colleagues of Nachtwey about his photos, his relationship to his work, and the impact it has on his personal life. Many of his most powerful images are shown in the film.

Dying to Tell the Story, 1998 * * * * *
Amy Eldon investigates the death of her brother and what drove him to be a war photographer.

A documentary produced by TBS on the death of 22-year-old Reuters photographer Dan Eldon while covering the 1993 civil war in Somalia. You’ll see interviews with veteran war correspondents on why they practice their trade — including CNN's Christane Amanpour, London Sunday Times veteran war photographer Don McCullin and many others.

Moment of Impact, 1999 * * * * *
An hour-long TBS documentary about six Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers and how they made their winning images.

Los Niños Abandonados, 1975
A film by noted documentary photographer and film maker Danny Lyon on street children in Colombia.

Pull My Daisy, 1958
Photographer/film maker Robert Frank’s improvised scene featuring beat poets Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Larry Rivers.

Me and My Brother, 1968
Robert Frank’s mixed cinéma vérité and fictional account of a schizophrenic removed from a hospital and dragged tranquilized on a tour of campus poetry readings with Allen Ginsberg.

Reporters, 1981
Magnum photographer/film maker Raymond Depardon’s documentary on the difficult and often cynical world of the photojournalist.

Features Jacques Chirac, Catherine Deneuve and Richard Gere as paparazzi victims.

Bad photojournalist movies:

There are many, of course, but here are some rare for their offense.

Batman, 1989
See Kim Basinger scream, yelp and whine her way through a role as an alleged intrepid war photographer.

Bridges of Madison County, 1995
Clint Eastwood tries to be sweet and sensitive as an alleged National Geographic photographer in this film based on one of the worst best-sellers in recent memory.

Superman, 1978 (and subsequent sequels)
Through all the comic books, TV series and movies, photographer Jimmy Olson has been a nitwit, barely capable of tying his own shoes.

The Paper, 1994
This is actually a fine film about the insanity of the newsroom (with the exception of Keaton’s fist fight with editor Glenn Close). But as usual the photographer is portrayed as a monkey with a camera who only gets the shot thanks to a fortunate accident.