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Matinee: Bruce Gilden 'Untitled' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

8 December 2018

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 179th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Bruce Gilden 'Untitled'.

Into every life a little humor must fall. Bruce Gilden is more than a little. The Magnum photographer is also a bit much to take. Particularly if you run across him in the street.

He's likely to fire a strobe in your face and capture a close-up that's more macro than portrait. He calls it street photography. And the older he gets, he says, the closer he gets.

Here's Gilden in action 10 years ago:

Typical obnoxious New Yorker, right? Well, those streets are in New York. But you can't help wonder if those are his real teeth.

In this 3:12 video, he's confined to his cage, a brick walled studio with lots of diffused light. He walks down the stairs asking, "What is that strange guy doing in my house?"

He's pointing at the videographer.

He's not shy about identifying himself. "Who am I? I'm Bruce Gilden. And I sometimes take pictures," he says, matter of factly. "I don't want to talk to you," he adds shortly after.

But he does. He talks about his visit with Mick Gatto, a tough guy who reminds him of his father. They get along well.

He tells the story (even though he doesn't want to talk to you) while he leafs through his portraits of Gatto. His pictures have "a lot of soul," he says. Gatto with soul. What a comedian.

He has a few more jokes to spring on you.

But he does reveal an important truth. He says, "I learned my photography from looking." At everything.

He goes on so long that at one point he realizes his wife's going to kill him. "I feel it from here."

But Sophie's a good egg. Not, that is to say, a tough. She worries about the birds not the soul of some cat.

"They're eating though, Sophie, what are you worried about?" Gilden asks.


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