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More Than the Rainbow


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After three decades turning his lens on New York City, taxi driver turned street photographer Matt Weber has seen it all. More Than the Rainbow not only chronicles the life and times of Weber, but becomes a vibrant conversation about the photographic medium, artistic expression, and New York City. There is no telling how many stories Weber has attempted to capture since he first started taking pictures out of the window of the cab he used to drive. But his quarter century-plus devotion to candidly depicting the lives of his fellow New Yorkers, many of them from the fringes of society, has yielded a remarkable document of a New York that most of us will never experience.

Shot partially in gorgeous 35mm and largely scored to the music of Thelonious Monk, More Than the Rainbow interweaves verité, still photography and revealing interviews with Weber and fellow photographers like Ralph Gibson, Zoe Strauss, and Eric Kroll, as well as designer Todd Oldham to create an evocative documentary that is a poetic celebration of the world's greatest city and the individuals who walk its streets.

Review

"From driving a cab to snapping pictures of New York's streets...Matt Weber's work yields its share of gratifying, blink-and-you'll-miss-it New York moments. This earthy documentary featuring Mr. Weber, along with a colorful gallery of fellow photographers and associates, has the ramble and scramble of a crosstown conversation with an opinionated driver." --The New York Times

"On treks through the city, camera in hand, Weber's expertise, tenderness, and taste for the absurd become clear. Director Dan Wechsler runs with it, interspersing decades of Weber's often gritty photographs with expert cinematography that lingers on New York's curved railings and blurring lights in a way that feels suffused with nostalgia, even for the present." --The Village Voice

"Literally, the title of Dan Wechsler's 'More Than the Rainbow' describes a photo taken by the movie's principal subject, New York street photographer Matt Weber. Figuratively, it describes the quest of all photographers for that perfect alchemy of subject and form, composition and timing, that makes one image stand apart from thousands of mere snapshots. That elusive pursuit is discussed at length by Weber and nearly a dozen other prolific shutterbugs in this loosely structured, always informative, sometimes illuminating portrait." --Variety

Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Weber, Dave Beckerman, Boogie, Ralph Gibson, Eric Kroll
  • Directors: Dan Wechsler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2014
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00K6KSKO2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,613 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Boy was this a discovery for me! Documentary director Dan Wechsler set out to make a film about New York photographer Matt Weber, whose specialty is “street photography” – taking candid shots of people in normal situations. Weber has a few gallery exhibits to his credit and an some books as well, though he was unknown to me – until this film. Along the way, Wechsler interviewed Weber’s friend and fellow photographer Dave Beckerman as well as 3 more “street photographers” (though one deals more with photographing professional models and nude women.). So, while the focus is on Weber, we learn a lot about the others as well. All are men except for Zoe Strauss (who I was aware of from her years living in Philadelphia, before she moved to NYC.). Some of the photographs “diss” Weber’s techniques” (professional jealousy in a competitive photo art market?) while others laud him.

Weber has a great personality and talks a mile a minute but seems like the kind of guy you’d call your “buddy”. There are literally hundreds of images from each of the photographers in this 83 minute film. And as he follows Weber throughout New York (and particularly Coney Island), he makes hi9s own artistic decisions as to what to capture and how to present it. There’s not a lot of technical language used here but folks who love to use their cameras will appreciate the comments on film vs digital, color vs. black& white.

For the soundtrack to this film Wechsler uses recordings of Thelonious Monk (licensed from a variety of record labels) and original music performed by Keith Gurland as well as Monk pieces performed by Gurland. It blends perfectly.

There are a few bonus features here too. There’s a 9-minute interview with both Weber and Beckerman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2014
Matt Weber became known as a street photographer of New York City after he worked for twelve years driving a cab. The cab paid the bills but Weber became bored. He began observing people in and out of his taxi and the city sites outside of it and soon started taking photographs from the window. Weber eventually took the risky step of selling his cab medallion in order to try to support himself doing what he found he loved -- taking pictures. Weber lacked any kind of formal education or training in photography or other visual art. This new documentary, "More than the Rainbow" (2014) tells Weber's story.

Weber has a feeling for New York City as it was. In the voiceover that opens the film, Weber says that the City has become gentrified over the past 25 years and has lost a degree of its spontaneity and verve. He aims to recapture a large, gritty New York. Weber strolls through the city streets with his camera snapping photos incessantly as he goes. Photography requires patience. For every 1000 pictures he takes, according to Weber, perhaps only one will be of artistic quality. Weber's photographs are all spontaneous rather than posed. He tries to capture a scene as it unfolds which requires a rare balance to make the photo work. He also takes risks when people do not want to be photographed.

Weber photographs both people and places. He is most interested in the harsher aspects of city life, including street people, the elderly, the underemployed, the less glamorous areas, prostitutes, and peep shows. Each of these have a substantial place in this documentary. He looks fondly at an old pay telephone booth, one of the few left on the west side of New York.
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“More Than the Rainbow” (2012 release; 82 min.) is a documentary about street photography in New York, and in particular chronicles Matt Weber. As the documentary opens, we are right away introduced to Matt Weber. I assume he is well known in the photographers’ circles but I admit I had never heard of him. We get to know Matt and he brings his story of how he started taking pictures more than 30 years ago when he was a taxi driver in New York and he’s literally shoot pictures from within his cab. Nowadays he’s no longer driving a cab and has the good fortune of taking pictures on a full-time basis. Along the way we are introduced to others in New York, including other street photographers, who comment on what they think of Matt’s work. And of course the documentary includes tons of pictures shot by Matt (and others).

Couple of further comments: first, I can’t remember where I read about this documentary recently, but it came highly recommended, and so I sought it out at my local library here in Cincinnati. So glad I did. There is no “story line” as such in this documentary (unlike in, say, the similarly-themed “Finding Vivian Meier” recent documentary), but it doesn’t affect the viewing experience negatively, as long as you have an interest in photography (and New York, I suppose). Second, Matt makes some astute observations about life as a photographer, let alone a street photographer. Comments Matt: “it’s a pretty obscure profession. If people are asked to name a photographer, Ansel Adams is often the only name people know.” Comments another photographer: “the camera saved me from a boring life”, ha!
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