Cinematography by Kirsten Johnson
BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
Filmmaker Emiko Omori will discuss her work-in-progress short Vanishing Chinatown: The World of the May's Photo Studio and her many years as a cinematographer.
Kirsten Johnson has been the principal cinematographer on more than forty documentaries. For her, “The joys of being a documentary cameraperson are endless . . . and yet, the dilemmas I face while holding my camera are formidable.” In Cameraperson, she assembles a selection of her footage—whose subjects include a Nigerian midwife, an Afghan boy, and Jacques Derrida, as well as her twin children and her mother—to craft both a self-portrait and an insightful examination of her field. “The questions of what you need permission to film, what is watchable, and what should be remembered permeate the movie” (Tad Friend, New Yorker).
Vanishing Chinatown: The World of the May's Photo Studio
Emiko Omori, United States, 2019
This work-in-progress tells the story of hundreds of photographs of San Francisco’s Chinatown, taken by Leo and Isabelle May Chan Lee from the 1920s through the 1960s, that were trashed, then recovered by some astute collectors.