Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters
A mesmerizing portrait of the famed photographer whose stunningly composed images of recession-era suburbia evoke the surreal vibe of David Lynch, fused with the gritty detail of early David Fincher
In Person: Filmmaker BEN SHAPIRO
"Position. And..hold." With this phrase, photographer Gregory Crewdson stops time to capture images that swell with sadness, beauty and ambiguity. Crewdson's elaborate artistic process and style is more akin to that of a film or theater director. The difference is the medium; unlike film, photographs illustrate one moment in time, and it is in creating these moments that Crewdson labors over "the preoccupation to make something perfect." Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters chronicles Crewdson and his team over the course of four years spanning from 2006-2008 as they create "Beneath the Roses," Crewdson's most ambitious project yet. The photographs in "Beneath the Roses" narrate the desolate beauty of recession-era suburbia, evoking the surreal, uncanny vibe of David Lynch, fused with the gritty detail of early David Fincher. An avid long-distance swimmer, Crewdson's visions are often inspired by the quiet solitude of the lake; the vacant murkiness of the water serves as a blank canvas on which images for his photographs emerge in his mind's eye. Brief Encounters is most satisfying when we witness Crewdson's own thrill and awe as the image in his mind is recreated in the tangible world. These moments in time the perfect alignment of lighting, placement, expression and mood is when the world makes sense to Crewdson. These moments also give the viewer a coveted glimpse into the gratification and pleasure of artistic expression. Vanessa Graniello (USA, 2012, HD, Color , Running time: 79 min, Producer, Director and Cinematographer: Ben Shapiro) Sponsored by Stuart & Ginger Polisner
"CRITICS' PICK! With marvelous discipline, Mr. Shapiro crams a wealth of material into a tight 77 minutes, smoothly communicating the group effort required to achieve the perfect shot."
- Jeannette Catsoulis, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"A beautiful and contemplative look at Crewdson's process."
- Elisabeth Donnelly, THE PARIS REVIEW
"Anyone haunted by Mr. Crewdson's photographs, each one as complex in orchestration as a movie scene, will be compelled as the methodical process is revealed."
- Steve Dollar, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"For those unfamiliar with Crewdson's oeuvre, the docu serves as a delicious eye-opener, while for fans it furnishes an unprecedented look at his long-secret methods, utilizing crews and budgets suitable for independent features, by which his eerily frozen moments of Americana come into being."
- Ronnie Scheib, VARIETY
"9 out of 10. ENGAGING, ASTUTE! Brief Encounters makes clear that everyone and everything are photogenic, painfully and perfectly photogenic. "
- Cynthia Fuchs, POP MATTERS
"Creepy doesn't begin to describe these masterworks of control freakery, nor does beautifulthey look as if they're glowing from the inside out, even as Crewdson's scenes of furtive common people make viewers feel like voyeurs.""
- David Fear, TIME OUT NEW YORK
"A finely sketched portrait of the artist's unlikely pursuit of perfection."
- Michelle Orange, VILLAGE VOICE
"A sprawling look at a ten-year process that shows some of his most brilliant photographsfrom the inception of an idea, to the building of a moment, and the final stunning result as Crewdson reflects on his life and work, his fears and desires, and the things that tickle his creative fancy."
- Hillary Weston, BLACKBOOK MAGAZINE
"Chronicles the filmshoot-like process that goes into each of his eerie and exquisite large-format images."
- Benjamin Sutton, L MAGAZINE
"Filmed over a decade, beginning in 2000, 'Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters' provides an unparalleled view of the moment of creation of his images. It also reveals the life-story behind the work."
"A brilliant new documentary about the work of one of America's greatest living photographers."
- FLUSH MAGAZINE (UK)
"Shapiro's goal isn't so much a comprehensive biopic as an in-the-moment snapshot of creative fervent Brief Encounters is great entertainment."
- Ela Bitencourt, SLANT MAGAZINE
"A refreshingly frank look at the artistic process, as comprehensive and lovingly realized as the work it pays tribute to."
- Dan Schoenbrun, FILMMAKER MAGAZINE
"Seek out this wonderful film it is one of my personal favorites in the endless stream of art documentaries released in the past year and I could not recommend it more highly."
- Elisa Carmichael, TASJ MAGAZINE
"A fascinating portrait of the artist and his astonishing image [it's] difficult if not impossible to look away from once it gets going not at all unlike Crewdson's photographs."
- Mike Scott, NEW ORLEANS TIMES PICAYUNE
"For its ability to 'move the soul and inspire a true sense of wonder', I selected it as one of my Top Docs of the 2012 SXSW Film Festival."
- Larry Richman, INDEPENDENT FILM ANALYSIS
"Engrossing [Crewdson's world] is a terrible, lovely, uncanny sort of place, a real-world Twilight Zone of Americana. SXSW Pick."
- Marc Savlov, AUSTIN CHRONICLE
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