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in Filmmaking
on Jan 3, 2009

I just came across on the Interview magazine site this talk between director Harmony Korine and artist photographer William Eggleston, whose “William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961- 80” is up now and essential at New York’s Whitney Museum. (A slide show of some of his images is above.)

An excerpt:

HK:?Would you take photos of a Kroger today?


HK:?And do you think it would have that same effect looking at it 20 years from now?

WE:?I think so.

HK:?So you think time makes things more exotic?

WE:?I don’t think exotic is the word.

HK:?So what do you think happens?

WE:?Well, probably the best way to put it might be that at some time, not just in an instant, but over some period of time I became aware of the fact that I wanted to document examples like Kroger or Piggly Wiggly in the late ’50s, early ’60s. I had the attitude that I would work with this present-day material and do the best I could to describe it with photography, not intending to make any particular comment about whether it was good or bad or whether I liked it or not. It was just there, and I was interested in it. That’s what I still do today.

Director Michael Almereyda made a documentary about Eggleston, William Eggleston and the Real World, and the Whitney asked him to speak with the artist in this short video shot on the eve of the exhibition.Finally, over at FilmInFocus, Eggleston riffs off five influential films. Here are his thoughts on one, Gone with the Wind.

Technicolor was used just perfectly in it. It’s like a dye transfer. Hell, it is a dye-transfer. Tutwiler [Mississippi] was about five miles from [my childhood home of] Sumner, and we’d go once a week or so when I was a boy. Movies were never a visual influence on me. I never really go to them, even now. There was an art theater in Memphis that Rosa and I went to in the mid-’60s to see European and black-and-white movies. I am sure there must have been some in color but I can’t drum one up.

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