ELOQUENT NUDE: THE LOVE AND LEGACY OF EDWARD WESTON & CHARIS WILSON (Ian McCluskey, U.S.). 57 minutes. Friday (May 9), 7 pm. Rating: NNN
Unlike the usual artist’s profile, Eloquent Nude focuses on Charis Wilson, Edward Weston’s partner and model in the 1930s and 40s.
Wilson was a beautiful and bright girl of 19 when she met the 48-year-old photographer, whom she assisted in the darkroom and the field as well as in front of the camera. She used her skill with words to pen grant applications and other writings for him, some of which were published under his name.
Director Ian McCluskey intersperses charming re-enactments shot in scratchy Super 8 that capture the rustic, bohemian feel of their travels around the American West with interviews with Wilson, now in her 90s, and Weston biographers. He shows that Wilson was an active collaborator, not only in the famous nude photos, but in her partner’s career.
Like Weston, most of the photographers in the Contact films are men. Will there ever be a film about a man who worked behind the scenes to support a woman’s artistic career?