ARCHIVE VIDEO: Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank, 2005


Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 19.06.40Gerald Fox’s 2005 documentary Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank, features the legendary American photographer and filmmaker looking back on his life and photographic travels. It was commissioned by the BBC as part of the South Bank Show Series presented by Melvyn Bragg.

Frank is the photographer who created The Americans, a look at the dispossessed soul of the nation in the mid-fifties, still considered to be the most influential single book of photography of the last fifty years. He is the director of Pull my Daisy (1959), the jazzy, avant-garde film narrated by Jack Kerouac that epitomised the Beatnik spirit of the era and defined the new American independent cinema movement emerging at the time. He also made the now legendary Cocksucker Blues, a controversial, cult movie about the Rolling Stones’ infamous tour of America in 1972 that was never granted a release by the Stones due to its explicit images of shooting up backstage and naked frolicking with groupies on an airplane. Not to mention his twenty-five other films and a lifetime of photographic inspiration that is unrivalled by any other living photographer.


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  1. […] watch this documentary Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank, 2005  (48 minutes long); you can find it with the above link and on our canvas […]

  2. […] Leaving Home, Coming Home – A Portrait of Robert Frank begins its story with an older, more learned and jaded version of Robert Frank. Though many years have passed since his seminal photo book The Americans was published, he still seems drawn to similar topics – America, New York City, and the act of living. While he shares his strong opinions, he knows that they are not representative of everyone. Like his photographs, his opinions are acknowledged to be subjective units, expressive conduits of feelings that play loose with reality and facts. As the film moves through Frank’s photographic work, it struck me that he would have been at home in the Bauhausian tradition of photographic experimentation. His photos evoke emotion less through their order and more through their lines and form. The blurs, contrast, and portions left out of focus craft a mood that unites Frank’s body of work. The broad interests within the Americans – lunch counters, parks, jukeboxes, and cars are evident. Did Frank’s perspective on them make them quintessentially American or would they have inherited their status anyways? […]

  3. […] watch this video Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank, 2005 to prepare for our  discussion in class tomorrow. (48 minutes […]

  4. […] Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank, […]

  5. […] Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank, […]

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