Robert Frank is reluctant to allow himself to be wired up to a microphone; one of the world’s most renowned photographers does not want to pose in front of another person’s lens – and simply leaves the frame. This scene from an early interview already reveals much about his personality and his understanding of art. Bent over his early photographs, which capture daily life on the margins of American society, he explains his approach. ‘It’s best’ he says, ‘if people don’t notice that you are photographing them.’ His portraits are snapshots that capture the moment – in the truest sense of the term – whether they depict the lives of London bankers, Welsh miners or rock stars like the Stones. Robert Frank opens up in front of the camera of his long-standing collaborator and editor Laura Israel and looks back, self-confidently but also self-deprecatingly, at his life and work. The film shows us an artist in action; the witness of an era who remembers the years with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg – with whom he made films in the cadences of the Beat generation. Robert Frank: always a maverick and anarchist – in any situation that life throws at him.
USA / France 2015, 82 min
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