The Impassioned Eye
Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 - 2004), the master of the “decisive moment” and one of the greatest photographers of all time, had become a living legend long before he passed away. For 50 years he travelled all over the world, living in places like India, China and Indonesia at times of turbulent political upheaval (1948 – 50). He is not only considered the father of photojournalism but the pioneering doyen of aesthetics and ethics in photography. Cartier-Bresson’s inimitable style was based on his intuitive, almost infallible eye for composition, for the perfect combination of rhythm, line, shape, shadow and subject matter, captured in a split second through the lens of his Leica.
Many of his pictures have become enduring icons in the history of photography. But who was Henri Cartier-Bresson?
In his film Henri Cartier-Bresson – The Impassioned Eye, Heinz Bütler gives the photographer and co-founder of the famous Magnum agency the opportunity to tell us about himself. The film was released to accord with the major HCB retrospective at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the launching of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris.
Cartier-Bresson traced both world-shattering and ordinary events in an unforgettably moving visual journey; many of his portraits are now as famous as the sitters themselves: Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Alberto Giacometti, Mahatma Gandhi, Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, Igor Stravinsky.
In this production, created shortly before his death at the age of 95, Cartier-Bresson chose for the first time to become personally involved in a project about himself, describing what touched and moved him, what delighted him and made him think. In addition, actress Isabelle Huppert, playwright Arthur Miller, publisher Robert Delpire and the Magnum photographers Elliott Erwitt, Josef Koudelka and Ferdinando Scianna give us their own very personal views of the work and personality of Cartier-Bresson – with humour and passion.