One of the year’s greatest dedications to photography, a short Italian-language film (with English subtitles) entitled The Camera Collector is now available to watch for free online.
The film, made by Andrea Casanova of the fine art collective Branco Ottico, is a journey through the memories of an Italian man who has spent a lifetime collecting photographic history. The fact that this narrator’s identity remains a mystery only adds to its allure.The film had previously only been available on Vimeo On Demand, but with the budget recouped, Casanova has decided to share this historical snapshot with the entire world.
Over its 13 minute running time, The Camera Collector charts this unseen narrator’s love affair with the art of photography all the way back to 1960, where as a young man, he accumulated a vast amount of savings to purchase a Leica from a visiting photographer. Though he had already spent a great deal on his first camera (a humble Comet 2), something about the Leica’s look and design entranced him and he was determined to have it, even if that meant that his father beat him badly for what he saw as good money going to waste.
It is stories like this that make The Camera Collector a testament to why we do what we do. It isn’t an ode to the Gear Acquisition Syndrome of the tech obsessive, but a tribute to the memories, the beauty, and the history behind the art form itself. Though some of the pieces of kit he owns are indeed priceless, many of the items have little material or functional worth. Each comes with a story that any shutterbug should be able to appreciate. It is touching, it is revelatory, it is a must see.
You can find out more about Branco Ottico and the work they do here