Helen Levitt: ‘In the Street’

“Levitt’s pictures report no unusual happenings; most of them show the games of children, the errands and conversations of the middle-aged, and the observant waiting of the old. What is remarkable about the photographs is that these immemorially routine acts of life, practiced everywhere and always, are revealed as being full of grace, drama, humor, pathos, and surprise, and also that they are filled with the qualities of art, as though the street were a stage, and its people were all actors and actresses, mimes, orators, and dancers.” From “Looking at Photographs” by John Szarkowski.

This Sunday was spent in the company of old favourites including Saul Leiter and Ernst Haas, and new including Boris Savelev, in highly recommended exhibition Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour. I keep returning to the work of Helen Levitt in my thoughts, and wanted to simply share here her short film ‘In the Street’, made in 1948 with novelist and critic James Agee and fellow photographer Janice Loeb.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyBEWD3M5r4&w=420&h=315]

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