It’s cold outside, so we thought we’d share some photo-themed movies for those days when you want to stay inside and watch a film. If you have other ideas to add to the list, share them in the comments!
From thrillers to documentaries, photography has inspired the movie industry for years, creating some really unforgettable on-screen moments. This is not a rarefied list for photography connoisseurs; it’s a list of flicks that even the most casual photography buff might want to check out. With that, let’s get started! Turn off the lights, sit back, relax and enjoy.
The Bang Bang Club – 2010 – Drama
This is the true story of four young combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa.
The Big Picture – 2010 – Drama
A successful lawyer kills his wife’s lover—a photographer—and decides to take the dead man’s identity.
Bill Cunningham New York – 2010 – Documentary
This documentary focuses on New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who covers the way people dress for the
Times Style section in his columns.
Blow-Up – 1966 – Thriller/Mystery
A photographer finds out that he may have recorded evidence of a murder through one of his pictures.
The Bridges of Madison County – 1995 – Drama/Romance
Set in the 1960s, this love story between a National Geographic photographer and a married woman was adapted from a novel by Robert James Waller.
Calendar – 1993 – Drama/Comedy
A Canadian photographer and his wife take photographs of Armenian churches to be used in a calendar.
City of God – 2002 – Drama/Action
This is a story of two boys growing up in Rio de Janeiro. One becomes a crime lord; the other becomes a photographer who documents gang wars.
Delirious – 2006 – Comedy/Drama
A tabloid photographer plots revenge when his friend gets involved with a big star.
Eyes of Laura Mars – 1978 – Horror/Thriller
A photographer can see through the eyes of a serial killer as he murders his victims.
Funny Face – 1957 – Musical/Comedy/Romance
A fashion photographer (based on Richard Avedon) turns an unknown bookstore salesgirl into an international supermodel.
Guinevere – 1999 – Drama/Romance
A young girl from an affluent family falls for a much older photographer.
J.A. Martin Photographer – 1977 – Drama
Every summer in the 1920s, a photographer travels to the province of Quebec to take and sell pictures. One time, his wife decides to make the trip with him.
The Midnight Meat Train – 2008 – Horror/Suspense
A photographer in search of the perfect subject tracks a sadistic serial killer.
One Hour Photo – 2002 – Thriller/Mystery
A one-hour photo lab clerk obsesses about a family and imagines himself a part of it.
Pecker – 1998 – Comedy/Drama
A young amateur photographer becomes the “flavour of the month” after an art dealer sees his photos.
Proof – 1991 – Drama
A blind man takes pictures as proof that the world really is as people describe it to him.
The Public Eye – 1992 – Mystery/Drama
This film noir tells the story of a photographer who specializes in crime. It’s loosely based on the photographer Weegee, who defined New York in the 1940s.
Rear Window – 1954 – Mystery/Thriller
A photographer with a broken leg spies on his neighbours through the window, and he believes one of them has committed murder. (Steer clear of the bad 1998 remake though!)
Shutter – 2008 – Horror/Suspense
A photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. This is a remake of a 2004 Thai movie with the same name.
Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture – 1990 – Drama
A photojournalist is hired by a convicted man to photograph his execution and finds evidence that the man may not be guilty.
That Most Important Thing: Love – 1975 – Drama/Romance
A photographer tries to help a soft-core movie actress by financing a theatrical production.
Triage – 2009 – Drama/Mystery
Two photojournalist friends head off to war full of confidence, but only one comes back. What happened?
War Photographer – 2001 – Documentary
Through a small camera mounted on top of James Nachtwey’s own camera, we follow the greatest war photographer on his assignments.
And a few more…
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – 2013 – Drama
When his job at Life magazine along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
Finding Vivian Maier – 2013 – documentary
A documentary on the late Vivian Maier, a nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished street photographers.
The Salt of the Earth – 2014 – documentary
The life and work of photographer Sebastião Salgado, who has spent forty years documenting deprived societies in hidden corners of the world.
2001: A Space Odyssey – 1968 – Science Fiction
This one is really not about photography, but each shot in the movie could make a magnificent photograph. One of the scenes involves the innovative use of slit-scan photography to create visual effects.