Friday, March 12, 2021

Luca Severi's THAT CLICK highlights a photo- grapher you should know -- but maybe don't

What a fun -- charming, surprising, fast-paced -- ride is the new documentary, THAT CLICK, all about the life and work of a certain Canadian-born celebrity photographer by the name of Douglas Kirkland. Though I had seen quite a bit of his ground-breaking work down the decades, TrustMovies never seemed to know (or at least to remember) the guy's name. This new documentary, written and directed by Italian-born filmmaker, Luca Severi, has certainly changed that. 

After viewing this film, one possible reason I find for Kirkland's near anonymity -- even among those of us who follow film and performers fairly closely -- might just be the relatively small ego Mr. Kirkland seems to possess. Which I am not sure can be said about most other famous shutterbugs. Richard Avedon, anyone?

In any case, Signore Severi (shown at left), who is clearly enamored of both Kirkland and his work (as I suspect you will be, too, once you've seen the doc) has organized his movie so that we keep jumping back and forth in time, as we see more and more of the history of the photographer, along with his oeuvre. But this jumping is fun in its own right, while keeping us alert, and the work itself shows how Kirkland has grown and changed over the passing decades.

It is also impressive how very fond of Kirkland were and are so many of the celebrities he has captured on film (and eventually on digital). From the likes of Elizabeth Taylor (who initially said "interview only -- no photos" until our guy, just starting out, sweetly begged her permission) to Marilyn Monroe (whose photo session produced perhaps the loveliest, most intimate and special set of photos ever taken of this icon), the work is indeed impressive and includes plenty of international stars (Brigitte Bardot, Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve), too.

More recent celebs include the likes of Sharon Stone (above), Michelle Williams (below), and Baz Luhrmann (further below), all of whom have plenty of interesting, often telling things  to say about the man and his work. It is also clear that they dearly love and appreciate him and are well-spoken enough to pass this appreciation on to us.

The doc covers more than mere celebrity photography, as our man seems also to have had an interest in current events -- like the huge economic downturn that put many folk out of work back in the 70s -- and also in following up with the non-celebrity subjects of his photography and their continued well-being, of which he proved to be a part.

How Kirkland (shown below) kept up with both the times and the changes in photography is highlighted, with results -- as per usual concerning this talented man -- that are well worth viewing. For anyone in the least besotted by our glamour icons of the past (Ann-Margaret to Coco Chanel) and present (Nicole Kidman), That Click would seem a must. For anyone simply interested in photography, making the acquaintance of this fellow who just keeps on going -- and growing -- proves a lovely thing to do. 

The 90-minute documentary, from Omnibus Entertainment (a division of Film Movement), hits the street on DVD and digital this coming Tuesday, March 16. Click here for more information on how to view it.

No comments: