Caught by the River

Jane Bown: Looking for Light

Brian David Stevens | 31st May 2014

Brian David Stevens enjoys a new documentary film which looks at the life life and career of the iconic photographer Jane Bown.

Looking For Light opens with a series of talking heads Rankin, Don McCullin and rather oddly Richard Ashcroft, who pay tribute to the 90 Year old Observer photographer. After speaking of her in glowing terms, Rankin looks at the film makers behind the camera, pauses and asks:
“what’s she like?”
It’s a telling moment.

You will know her pictures, black and white, available light, these are quiet pictures, you look at them quietly, holding your breath just to see if you can hear the subjects breathe.

beckett (1)Samuel Beckett, 1976

You will know her sitters, her first assignment was to photograph Bertrand Russell in 1949 and has photographed everybody since.

Bjork_portrait (1)Bjork, 1995

You won’t however know Jane Bown.

This film reflects on Bown’s life and is populated with pauses and silences, punctuated with her pictures which tell us probably more about Jane than her life story does. If you want to know what she’s like, look at the pictures.

Lucien Freud, 1983

Looking For Light, by Michael Whyte and Luke Dodd is released through Soda Pictures and on sale now.
You can pick up a copy of the DVD in our shop for the special price of £12.50