Dean O'Brien's Blog

Photography Film Review: Pecker featuring Edward Furlong and Christina Ricci

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Today I had the pleasure of  being able to watch a film called Pecker.  Produced in 1998 it is a comedy set in Baltimore USA.  The story is based around an 18 year old lad called Pecker who works in a sandwich bar.  His true passion however is photography and he just snaps away at everything he sees.  It is often pointed out by his peers that his shots are out of focus and blurred but the fact remains that they still retain something special within them.  After all, this is what images are all about.  His girlfriend in the film states ‘You see art when there is nothing there’.  I think that is what makes photographers what they are.  They have the vision to create an image which the everyday person fails to see.  He manages to hold a mini exhibition of his work at the cafe where he works and he is discovered by a New York art dealer.   Cindy Sherman even manages to appear in the film although due to her ever changing appearance I could not actually confirm whether or not it was actually her playing the part.  Its a good mixture of comedy combined with underlying messages and well worth watching.

So this was a different animal to the film which I had viewed a week earlier.  There were plenty of hidden messages within this film.  Although the film was a comedy it also contained many serious references for me to consider.  It made the point that Peckers images worked because he shot loose and natural.  The moment that he was being told what to shoot it never worked for him.  His best images came from the heart and what he saw in his immediate surroundings.

As the film came to a close Pecker mentioned that maybe he would like to work on a movie.  Experiment with a new medium to bring images to life.  This is something which is now becoming very relevant to photographers today.  Full HD movie making is available on most SLR’s and will soon be standard on all new models.  People now want to see filmed footage as well as still images.  Before, this would have meant carrying both a camera and camcorder.  However due to advances in technology this is now easily possible within an SLR.

I had a very strict upbringing at college so to speak.  The technical side of photography played a massive part.  Portraits were scrapped if the eyes were soft, even if the image itself was good.  The eyes had to be pin sharp.  I remember being sent back time and time again until the image was near perfect.  My lecturers at University are teaching me a very different approach.  I don’t doubt their capabilities.  They are all at the top of their game and produce amazing work.  They are telling me not to think to much about the technical side of things.  I have to shoot more loosely.  I’m getting there slowly.  This film showed how a loose style of shooting produces real. raw images that people instantly relate to.  My 365 project which I post to every day shows loose style images taken with a camera phone.  This is one of many steps which I am taking to improve my image style.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

April 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Posted in Reviews

Tagged with , ,

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