Episode 73: Robert Frank Movies

Still from Laura Israel's DON'T BLINK - ROBERT FRANK

Still from Laura Israel's DON'T BLINK - ROBERT FRANK


Today’s interview-only episode of the show is all about the movies of Robert Frank, the Swiss-born photographer who captured the odd, overlooked, simmering contours of roadside America with his 1958 book The Americans, and then promptly left the field of still photography to become a pioneering figure in the development of post-war American independent cinema. There are two Robert Frank-related movie screenings happening in New Haven this upcoming weekend, and host Tom Breen is joined by the folks who organized and are participating in those events to talk about Frank as a filmmaker, a photographer, and a dedicated, complicated, American observer.

The guests on today's show are Brian Meacham, Laura Israel, and Nicholas Dawidoff. Brian is the archive and special collections manager at the Yale Film Archive, and a regular guest on this show. Laura is an editor, a longtime filmmaking collaborator of Robert Frank’s, and the director of a new feature-length documentary called Don’t Blink - Robert Frank. And Nicholas is a journalist and author of a number of books that explore American culture, sports, and identity, including 2013’s Collision Low Crossers. He is the author of a 2015 profile of Robert Frank for the New York Times Magazine called The Man Who Saw America, and is also a New Haven native and a fellow at Yale’s Branford College.