I opened up a tiny little book store today.
You can find it at Mostly True Books.
It consists of books and films that I own, which have actually influenced me in a (hopefully) positive manner.
You can get your own copies from my store via Amazon.
The most surprising thing about this exercise is how hard to get, or expensive some of these books are today (then again some are really cheap).
I know I've missed a lot of titles, specially some by dear friends. I'm getting to them, don't worry. In the mean time, I'm ready for suggestions (which I guess I'll have to buy if I don't already own), and I'm also ready to explain or defend some of my choices.
For the record, I don't own a copy of "One Eyed Jacks" so it is technically not eligible for the list.
AN UNLIKELY WEAPON is a documentary film about Eddie Adams, his famous picture and how that image had a real effect on people's lives.
Sometimes I liked Eddie, sometimes not. Occasionally he could be hard to be around, at other times it could be impossible.
I was never a huge fan of his work. Of course, at the time I didn't really understand the type of baggage he was carrying.
One of the last times I saw him was a few months after Desert Storm. It was about two in the morning. I was walking aimlessly around Washington DC, when I ran into Eddie (who was also by himself) outside of the White House. I was a little surprised seeing him without a blond or two in his wake, but not overly surprised to see him there, in the middle of the night, just hanging out. We didn't talk much. We stood together for five or ten minutes, then went our separate ways.
I always felt there was something that both of us wanted to say, but being that we are both members of the old guy school that believes if you can avoid saying something, then it doesn't need to be said, we didn't talk much at all.
Looking back, I think I know what was suppose to be said. It is the same thing that our mutual and very dear friend Bill Pierce would occasionally preach. The idea that every photographer goes into a war thinking they are going to change the world, and you know what, they do. Not by changing public opinion or state policy, but by changing themselves.
This is the secret that Eddie was living with. Nobody really got it in his case, because his picture did have a very real effect on the public and the politicians.
Another thing Eddie knew, is after you make the images, you have a responsibility to look after them. You owe it to the people you photographed.
I guess what I'm saying is, if you're lucky, every once in a while someone will come up and tell you exactly how much your work influenced them, which is nice, because you have a pretty good idea about how much your work has effected you.
It will be showing at the Village East Cinema in Manhattan August 8 through August 14.
The NEW YORK TIMES gives it a mention here.
I haven't seen the film and probably won't get a chance until it hits dvd. I would if I could.
Dilip has an amazing eye and brings a certain amount of sensitivity to the people he photographs. He rides the perfect line between getting too close and being completely detached from his subjects. Which means I expect to see an honest and moving portrait of the women, without being subjected to the Anderson Cooper treatment.