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The B-Side: Dorfman’s Portrait Photography

  • Directed by Erroll Morris
  • United States, 2016, 76 mins., English

Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman found her medium in 1980: the larger than life Polaroid Land 20×24 camera—her’s one of only six in existence. For the next 35 years she captured the “surfaces” of those who visited her Cambridge, Massachusetts studio: families, Beat poets (Alan Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti), musicians (Bob Dylan, Jonathan Richmond, Joni Mitchell), Harvard University notables, and more. As pictures begin to fade and retirement looms, Dorfman lets her friend Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) into her studio to share the stories behind a remarkable body of work that serves as homage to a bygone era of analog photography.

Appears in: Special Screenings

Genres: Documentary

Other Films by Erroll Morris

Gates of Heaven

Morris’s classic film follows the shifting fortunes of two Bay Area pet cemeteries. One, San Francisco’s Foothill Memorial Gardens, stems from the lifelong dream of owner Floyd McClure to give Fido the dignity of a human-style burial. But when McClure goes bankrupt, some 450 sets of remains are shipped north to the Napa Valley’s Bubbling