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Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A wonderful, evocative biography of the man considered the greatest photographer of the last century. Cartier-Bresson’s life reads like a history of the century – World War II, China, Egypt, Mexico, India, Sartre, Matisse, Ghandi (minutes before he was killed), and Cuba all became subjects of his famous "decisive moment" style. Interviews with Cartier-Bresson, Isabelle Huppert, Arthur Miller and other luminaries are woven into this indelible portrait of an icon of both photography and the world.

Review

"...insight into the artistic process documenting a man who approached photography with one simple directive: ‘To seize the moment.’" -- San Francisco Bay Guardian

Special Features

  • Bonus previews
  • Weblinks

Product Details

  • Actors: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alexander Brooks, Robert Delpire, Elliott Erwitt, Isabelle Huppert
  • Directors: Heinz Bütler
  • Writers: Heinz Bütler
  • Producers: Heinz Bütler, Agnes Sire, Wolfgang Frei
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CGX7G6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,049 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Suat Guler on January 6, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Impassionate Eye was among the many DVD's about photography that I purchased recently. I can say that it turned out to be one of the most significant ones. I have been reading about HCB in many recources about photography. And I always accepted him as a great photographer (like the rest of the world). But I must confess that this was not because I understand his style and gift, but simply because it was written as such everywhere. But after watching this DVD, I realized and felt deeply why he was great. The DVD is well compiled and nicely mixes the views of HCB about his own work and the views of some other art people such as Isabelle Huppert and Arthur Miller. It also includes plenty of nice samples of his work. The English used in the DVD is very clear and easy to follow even for non-English speakers. And it flows very smoothly. You start watching the DVD and before you realize, it comes to an end, giving you the feeling that you know HCB better now.

In almost every book or assey about HCB, it's mentioned that he seizes the moment. But often, it's not mentioned which "moment". After watching the DVD, you realize that it's the moment when drama, geometry and the story comes together. For a photographer, when you hear this for the first time, it looks quite difficult to come across in a lifetime. But when you start seeing the world with HCB's eyes, you start realizing that it's not that difficult at all but you need to have the right point of view to see it.

In summary, I recomment this DVD to everybody, who is interested in quality photography. And to those who struggle to decide whether photography is art or not.
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Henri Cartier-Bresson is more than a photographer. This film about him, directed by Heinz Bütler, is based on interviews with Cartier-Bresson late in life, pondering over his own pictures. One cannot help being amazed at this man's work, his personality, and most of all; his inexplicable ability to be in the right place at the right time all over the world, helping us to remember certain historical moment, or everyday life, through the eyes of this special man. He has himself said: "for me photography is to place head, heart and eye along the same line of sight. It is a way of life", and through this film we can understand more how and why. Cartier-Bresson's pictures is meditative and beautiful, and in addition to show us much of his works, this film also leaves us with the impression that Cartier-Bresson was a wise and clear-sighted man. A must see for those interested in photography, or those just interested in a glimps into the life of one of the greater personalities of the last century.
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Format: DVD
This is an interesting DVD for any Cartier-Bresson fan, but given the material, I would have made the film differently. You do get to see a lot of his photos and there is some good conversation with the man but the music is annoying and it would have been nice to have a choice of either reading subtitles (Cartier-Bresson speaks French) or hearing a translator. Instead, hearing the translator is the only choice.

There is surpringly little meat to this documentary given the fact that they interviewed several other people in addition to Henri Cartier-Bresson himself. I came away not knowing that much more about the man than I did before I watched this DVD.
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well, first of all, I wish they had not decided to talk over the original French voices with bad and incomplete English actors reading badly incomplete translations into English.

then, you know we see a lot of people either lost in thought or dozing off into sleep

This is NOT catching them at the decisive moment of which the photographer is famous. In fact we cannot be certain whether he is closing his eyes and waddling his great head in time to the music or simply nodding off to slumberland.

We see the ll known photos merely as represented in books the subjects of interviews are holding, not presented full frame, full screen, and often not at all as they are commented in general

still there are the usual clever aphorisms from HCB, if we could only hear them through the thick sludge of mistranslated English.
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this should be part of your library. Not merely eye-candy, but full of embedded suggestions for all would-be imitators of the master. Like all geniuses, Cartier-Bresson makes it look and sound a lot easier to achieve his effects than it really is--as all who have tried have soon learned. Either don't throw out that old Tri-X film or start taking your digital photos in black and white. Then, as the master suggests, get out in the world and take a careful look at what passes before you.
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Henri moved among his subjects as one of them.

Even when they noticed him as a recorder of the visual moment, most remained calm and communicated an agreement with what he was about.

The remarkable part is that he shows this to us with no apparent artifice on his part or that of his subjects.
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this was a decent documentary of one of my favorite photographers. aside from seeing HCB animated, rather than just seeing photos of him, there are shots of some of his works and of him discussing his methods and philosophies and other people, photographers, friends, artists, etc. discussing what his work meant to them, or how he photographed a particular subject. it was a good document overall.
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