Thursday, 7 August 2014


Finding Vivian Maier proved to be a fascinating documentary about the Chicago-based nanny who has been described as Mary Poppins with a camera. Intensely private, secretive, eccentric, she used to haul her young charges around with her as she captured post-war America on her Rolleiflex. Just like Mary Poppins, she seems to have had a menacing quality. Except that rather than dancing on the chimneytops, she took the children she nannied on outings to the abattoir in the meat-packing district. Some of her charges adored her; some were abused by her. You can't help wondering how she ever got a reference. As she moved from family to family, she accumulated 100,000 negatives and 2,700 rolls of undeveloped fim that only surfaced by chance after her death.

Now that I've seen the movie, I'm mad that I've missed several exhibitions of her work in London.

Did any of you watch Mrs Miniver on television this afternoon? First time it's been shown in seven years but for some reason it hasn't gone on iPlayer. Enjoyably dreadful, well, dire, really - but you can't complain that it massacres the book when it doesn't bear a scrap of resemblance.

5 comments:

kristina said...

Oh this has been on my to-see list since I heard about it in America a few months ago! I wonder if it will still be playing in Richmond this weekend.

I've never actually seen the movie Mrs Miniver, though have read the book twice. Fingers crossed it will go on iPlayer just so I can see... x

Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

Sorry Mary, bad punctuation forced deletion. Second attempt.

I watched about half an hour of Mrs Miniver a few years ago before realising its resemblance to the book was slight.

mary said...

You'll have to hurry Kristina, think today's the last day - but it's still on in town.

I think Mrs M Is best appreciated as a historical curiosity, Sue. How America saw us in 1942.

Lucille said...

Apart from anything else, they can never get an English interior right can they?