Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Last night was the SFMOMA film screening of "Pirkle Jones: Seven Decades Photographed"--a wonderful film by Jane Levy Reed. I went with my friend Jennifer McFarland, the director of The Pirkle Jones Foundation and my friend Catherine Lyons--- another photographer and friend of Pirkle's.
Jane spent more than 3 years working on this film, which covers all aspects of his work, and is narrated by him, so that you feel as though you are sitting in his living room talking to him. The film is about 30 minutes long and beautifully done. I feel that the music that they chose for the film was especially good, adding to the feeling created by Pirkle's photographs and creating a flow from one section to another.
This is Jane's second film about the life of a photographer. Her previous film was "My Eyes Were Fresh: The Life and Photographs of John Gutmann". Jane's website is
You can see the sequence of stills for Pirkle's fim on Jane's website---it's not as good as seeing the film in its complete state, but the photographs are wonderful and you can get a sense of the range of work covered. To see the stills go HERE. And you can order the DVD at her website as well.
The image shown above is a famous shot of a Black Panther protest during 1968 that was made into a poster and widely used in the Black Panther's "Free Huey" campaign.