14 Comments

Henri Cartier-Bresson and Isabelle Huppert

Just watched The Impassioned Eye (2003), an interview with Cartier-Bresson and a look at his many photographs along with commentary by a number of other photographers and also Isabelle Huppert (who was the subject of one of his portraits). I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in photography or other fine art.

The photo above I selected (it was not in the film) partly due to it not being one I was that familiar with.

(Correction: see Errata: mea culpa regarding the photograph above….it is NOT a Cartier-Bresson!)

Though I am, like most anyone who looks at classic photography, familiar with many of his works, this film re-opened by eyes to how brilliant his work is.

I think what struck me the most was that it showed how the heart of a photograph lay quite far from perfect exposure or focus. He captured moments of life and in his remarks seems to be bored with the actual process of photography; it is simply a means for him to present life. And he does what much great art does, that is, exhibits the beautiful patterns that coalesce every now and then in everyday life.

His photographs are meditative, the sorts of things that if hanging on your wall would inspire you again and again; ever richer over time.

In the film, there is the added pleasure of hearing from (and seeing) Isabelle Huppert. What intrigued me about this was how this actress seemed so muted when I find her so radiant in film. I think she is one of those who can actually glow and burn under the gaze of a movie camera. The picture below comes from Magnum: Isabelle Huppert: Woman of Many Faces.

14 comments on “Henri Cartier-Bresson and Isabelle Huppert

  1. I agree with the opinions above. Now and again I watch The Impassioned Eye (I have it on my hard drive), and every time I take home another message. The last time I’ve seen it (a couple of days ago) what struck me was HC Bresson’s artfulness in picking just the right distance to the subject of the photo. Not to distant, not to close (it seemed so easy for him to get everything “just right”).

  2. (Obviously, I meant “too distant” and “too close”, can’t edit the message now :P)

  3. Hi there! Could you please let me know if the pictures above (of the girl with the dog on the beach) is by Cartier Bresson? And if not do you know who is the author?
    Many tnx in advance!

  4. Yes it is Cartier Bresson….great picture, isn’t it!

  5. Could you please let me know from witch book of cartier bresson is it?

    • I’m sorry but I don’t know which one…there must be a Cartier Bresson group out there that could answer that..or a good public library. (I know that whichever book that is, it is not in my library).

  6. hello,
    the image with the woman and the dog is not by Cartier-Bresson.

    • I am willing to be corrected…I know that though the source I found may no longer be available on line it was selected because it was labelled as one of his works. Who was the photographer and do you have a link? I do find other versions of this photo online and identified as his but not from any authoritative source.

      • I don’t know who is the photographer but I can tell you, for sure, that it’s not Henri Cartier-Bresson. internet is not always a reliable source.

  7. […] two years ago I wrote a post about Cartier-Bresson and Isabelle Huppert and it seems I attributed a picture to Bresson that is not one of […]

  8. Did anyone ever figure out who took that photo of the woman and dog on the beach?

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