Stop, moment: 20 films about photographers

The invention of photography fulfilled the long-held dream of mankind – to stop the moment. And the hunt for a good shot has become a new art form. Even in an era when every phone has a camera, the ability to create extraordinary pictures is highly valued. In the selection of films about photographers, you will see stories about real professionals who are ready to climb under bullets for the sake of a good shot, climb into the dense jungle or chase celebrities around the clock.

Great (2020)

The new highly rated film is a biographical drama based on true events in the life of photojournalist William Eugene Smith. The intrepid master of photography, known for his war photography, is in a long-term creative crisis. Eileen, a resident of a Japanese town, asks an American to draw the attention of the press to an environmental disaster that has occurred there. On the instructions of a popular magazine, Smith goes to the scene of the tragedy, not even knowing what he has to film.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Minamata

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Johnny Depp, Akiko Iwase, Katherine Jenkins…

Country:
UK, USA, UAE, Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Photographer from Mauthausen (2018)

A historical feature film about a photographer who saved the negatives of famous photographs – documentary evidence of Nazi atrocities. The young republican was expelled to France from Spain, where a fascist regime was established. A free life in another country is not expected – Hitler invades there. The Catalan is thrown into a concentration camp , where a German photographer takes him as his assistant. With the help of the bravest prisoners of the camp, Francisco manages to prevent the destruction of the photographs, later presented at the Nuremberg trials.

Original title:
El fotógrafo de Mauthausen

Genre:
Thriller, drama, military, biography, history

Actors:
Mario Casas, Richard van Weyden, Alain Hernandez …

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Life (2015)

The protagonist of the biographical drama lives in Hollywood and shoots famous actors, but he hates his job. However, the photo session of another rising star develops into fruitful cooperation and a kind of friendship . The young photographer will have to follow the future legend of cinema everywhere and, willy-nilly, get into the difficult relationship of the actor with others.

Original title:
Life

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Dane DeHaan, Robert Pattinson, Ben Kingsley …

Country:
UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
18+


A thousand goodnights (2013)

A dramatic foreign film with a high rating about the art of photography. The main character is considered one of the best war photographers in the world. A brave woman goes to hot spots and captures the nightmarish consequences of hostilities in the photo. Each trip involves a mortal risk and the possibility of not returning. Husband and daughter give the woman an ultimatum, demanding a choice between family and dangerous work.

Original title:
Tusen ganger god natt

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Juliette Binoche, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lauren Kenny…

Country:
Norway, Ireland, Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.0


Twice Born (2012)

Italian Gemma, at the invitation of an old friend, goes to the city of Sarajevo with her teenage son. Many years ago, the heroine met there with a photojournalist Diego – the main love of her life. The troubles in life and the civil war that broke out in the country prevented young people from being together. The acting game of Penelope Cruz, the leading lady, was awarded the Goya Award.

Original title:
Venuto al mondo

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, military

Actors:
Penelope Cruz, Emil Hirsch, Adnan Haskovic…

Country:
Italy, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


We’ll Take Manhattan (2012)

In the early 60s, only people from wealthy families had a chance to break into the high society. The heroes of a stylish film – novice photographers and models – do not have a material base for a career, but they have inspiration and talent, backed up by faith in their own strengths. Together, a daring couple, without the necessary connections and parental capital, will open a new creative era. One of the roles in the film was played by the son of a famous photographer, whose biography is the basis of the plot.

Original title:
We’ll Take Manhattan

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Sasha Bailey, Francis Barber, Aneurin Barnard …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.7


Crazy Club (2009)

The historical film is based on dramatic events in the history of the Republic of South Africa – bloody conflicts on the eve of the abolition of the apartheid policy. Four young and desperate photojournalists are sent to the mainland of short shadows, not to shoot exotic nature, but to take pictures of the tragedy taking place there. Heroes will have to repeatedly endanger, but the thirst for fame, money and exploits in the name of freedom makes them take risks.

Original title:
The Bang Bang Club

Genre:
Drama, biography, history

Actors:
Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman, Taylor Kitsch…

Country:
Canada, South Africa

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Sort (2009)

A tense movie about war photographers going to hot waters for sensational footage. Two friends go to film the civil war in Kurdistan. Monstrous cruelty reigns not only at the front, but also in the rear. To save medicines and resources, hospitals resort to “sorting” – the execution of the seriously wounded. Reporters manage to capture shocking moments in photographs, where the fighters are finished off.

Original title:
Triage

Genre:
Drama, detective, military

Actors:
Colin Farrell, Paz Vega, Jamie Sives …

Country:
Ireland, Spain, Belgium, France, Austria, Cayman Islands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Filming in Palermo (2008)

The works of the bohemian photo artist adorn the walls of fashion galleries and the covers of glossy magazines, but emptiness lurks in the heart of the master. In his creative quest, the celebrity moves to the city of Palermo to take a break from social gatherings and find new sources of inspiration. Together with a mysterious charming girl, fiery love and inexplicable mysticism enter the life of the master.

Original title:
Palermo Shooting

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Campino, Inga Bush, Excel Sichrovski …

Country:
Germany, France, Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Unforgettable Moments (2008)

The list of the best films about photographers is continued by the story of a woman who found salvation from painful everyday life in art. A rude spouse often takes out his discontent on his wife and children. The exhausted heroine wins a camera in the lottery and enthusiastically begins to take pictures of everything she sees around. The photographs are truly amazing. Local residents turn to the woman for portraits. The success of the wife irritates the husband even more.

Original title:
Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick

Genre:
Drama, history

Actors:
Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt, Jesper Christensen…

Country:
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Fur: ​​An Imaginary Portrait of Diana Arbus (2006)

The dramatic film is not just a sequence of biographical episodes, but an incredible fantasy about the life and work of a cult photo artist. The creators of the thriller are trying to find the reasons that prompted Diane Arbus to create in such a bold and sophisticated manner. According to the plot, an inspiring impulse is given by a strange neighbor who constantly hides his face under a mask.

Original title:
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

Genre:
Thriller, drama, melodrama, biography

Actors:
Nicole Kidman, Robert Downey Jr., Ty Burrell …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Nutty (2006)

A comedy movie about compromising photos will lift the veil over the world of the paparazzi. An eccentric tramp meets a photojournalist chasing sensational celebrity shots. The guy becomes assistants to the paparazzi and penetrates the seductive world of show business. The former tramp thinks about a film career and falls madly in love with a famous singer .

Original title:
Delirious

Genre:
Drama, Romance, Comedy

Actors:
Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Alison Lohman…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.5

Age Limits :
16+


Paparazzi (2004)

Four paparazzi follow the famous young actor anywhere and everywhere. At first, the movie star stoically endured the costs of popularity, but over time, the close attention of photojournalists began to really poison life, and in the end even led to tragedy. Crushed by circumstances, the hero decides to take cruel revenge on the people who put a sensational picture above morality.

Original title:
Paparazzi

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Cole Houser, Robin Tunney, Dennis Farina …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
12+


Photo in an hour (2002)

Top films, interesting for photographers, continues the gloomy psychological thriller. All the thoughts of a lonely elderly employee of the darkroom are focused on work. The old man is known and appreciated by the locals. Especially the hero comes close to one family, every week bringing film for development. From the photographs, the old man understands that regular customers have serious problems. An attempt to help turns into unimaginable consequences.

Original title:
One Hour Photo

Genre:
Thriller, drama

Actors:
Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Save Harrison (2000)

The military photojournalist intends to quit his career and devote himself to his beloved family. But the man did not return from a business trip to conflict-torn Yugoslavia. A faithful wife refuses to believe in the death of her husband. A brave woman goes in search of independence in Croatia, where local turmoil has grown to the scale of a full-fledged ruthless war.

Original title:
Harrison’s Flowers

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, military

Actors:
Andie MacDowell, Elias Koteas, Brendan Gleeson, Adrien Brody …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.1

Age limit:
16+


Loyalty (2000)

French beautiful film for fans of Sophie Marceau and lovers of stories about photographers. The editor of a prestigious publication, having fallen in love with a talented photojournalist, refused a profitable marriage with the daughter of a media mogul. The girl, famous for her bold and original reports, reciprocates, although she does not experience real feelings. On the eve of the wedding, the heroine meets a young paparazzi who awakens true love in her. The girl is trying to make a choice between obligations to her husband and sincere feelings.

Оригинальное название:
La fidélité

Жанр:
Драма

Актеры:
Софи Марсо, Паскаль Греггори, Гийом Кане…

Страна:
Франция, Португалия

Рейтинг:
Кинопоиск – 6.9, IMDb – 5.7

Возрастные ограничения:
16+


Уроки любви (1999)

Стареющий фотограф влюбляется в талантливую студентку Гарварда. Умная, но толком не знающая, чего хочет от жизни, девушка легко поддаётся на ухаживания и комплименты. Пожилой мужчина не только завладевает сердцем красавицы, но и помогает найти своё призвание в фотоискусстве. Ради любви и творчества девушка идёт наперекор друзьям и семье, а также бросает учёбу.

Трейлер

Original title:
Guinevere

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Sarah Polley, Stephen Rea, Gene Smart…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.0

Age limit:
16+


Photographer (1998)

The list of films worth watching for a photographer continues with an explosive tragicomedy. A boy from a provincial town never parted with a camera for a minute and takes pictures of everything. Fate brings a talented young man with a famous gallery owner. A promising acquaintance turns into a successful exhibition in New York. Fame and recognition fall on the photographer, but the guy decides to take advantage of the fruits of success in a very non-trivial way.

Original title:
Pecker

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, Bess Armstrong…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Photographer (1992)

Assertive and cynical, Leon Bernstein is a true photography ace. Always and everywhere the sly man, nicknamed the Great Bernzini, manages to be the first – even the police arrive at the scene of the crime later. The reaction speed will play a cruel joke on the hero: bloody street fights between mafia clans will fall into the photographer’s lens . The plot is based on the biography of photojournalist Weegee, who captured the nightlife of New York in the pictures.

Original title:
The Public Eye

Genre:
Thriller, crime, detective

Actors:
Joe Pesci, Barbara Hershey, Stanley Tucci …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Proof (1991)

A boy blind from birth learns the world with the help of photographs – a mother describes to her blind son the pictures taken during walks. Despite all the love and care from the parent, the hero constantly feels unnecessary, unloved and deceived. After the death of his mother, the young man finds a friend who is ready to describe photographs and promises never to lie.

Original title:
Proof

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Russell Crowe, Hugo Weaving, Genevieve Picot …

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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