Vivian Maier exhibition at Dunkers in Helsingborg

Exploring the world through film

The product of the movie industry is a story . . . told primarily in visual imagery and movement, and . . . dialogue. The movie shares the function of all storytelling, of all literature, of all theater: that of a comment on some phase of existence.
—Hortense Powdermaker (1950)*

A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.
—Marshall McLuhan (1962)*

What Do Movies Say to You?

Movies on Chatham publishes monthly research articles and essays on movies, typically according to a theme sequence, earning reader support as an important source of insight and critical thought on what films communicate to their audiences.

For Group Discussion

In the fall of 2019, we watch and discuss movies that either dramatize or document activities that take place within a context of technology, and in particular, filmmaking technologies.

Our coming attraction is Finding Vivian Maier (Siskel & Maloof, 2013), an amazing documentary that chronicles a search for the identity of a photographer after finding her collection of photographs and films. The movie documents John Maloof’s discovery of the work of Vivian Maier after her death in 2009, and shows how he learns more about her life through interviews with people who knew her.

Vivian Maier
Vivian Maier: Self-portrait. Photograph: ©Vivian Maier/Maloof Collection

Maier is now recognized among the 20th century’s greatest photographers, her photography largely unknown during her lifetime. Working most of her life as a nanny and housekeeper to Chicago families, she had carried her camera with her everywhere she went.

What do you notice in this movie that may influence an audience about the nature of filmmaking? We’d love to hear from you as you watch it along with us this month.

Find us on Twitter: @moviesonchatham.

2019 Fall Schedule

Sep 12 Day for Night
1973 Drama, 115 mins
Director: Francois Truffaut
France: Warner-Columbia Films
Day for Night (1973) poster
Oct 10 The 400 Blows
1959 Drama, 99 mins
Director: Francois Truffaut
France: Les Films du Carrosse
400 blows
Nov 14 Finding Vivian Maier
2013 Documentary, 84 mins
Directors: Charlie Siskel & John Maloof
USA: Ravine Pictures
Finding Vivian Maier movie poster
Dec 12 Meet Me in St. Louis
1944 Musical, 113  mins
Director: Vincent Minelli


Ann-Christine (Leya). (2016, Mar 3). Thursday thoughts: Vivian Maier – Street photographer – at Dunkers, Helsingborg. Leya. Retrieved from

McLuhan, M. (1962). The Gutenberg galaxy: The making of typographic man. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Powdermaker, H. (1950). Hollywood, the dream factory: An anthropologist looks at the movie-makers (1st Ed.). Boston: Little, Brown.

Siskel, C., & Maloof, J. (2013). Finding Vivian Maier [Motion picture]. USA: Ravine Pictures.

Wikipedia contributors. (2019, Feb 17). Finding Vivian Maier. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, film capital of the South, Movies on Chatham provides monthly film critiques to a public audience.
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