In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life With Saul Leiter | Chicago Reader

In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life With Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter came to notice in the early 1950s with his inventive color photographs of New York City street life; he loved to shoot figures through rain-misted windows and often used a vertical frame to render abstract the people and backdrops of the city. For this adoring 2012 profile, British documentary maker Tomas Leach visits Leiter in his cluttered apartment on the Lower East Side as he tries to clear out stuff that accumulated during more than 50 years as a painter and fashion photographer. "I aspire to be unimportant," says Leiter, with a feigned humility that develops into almost ritualistic self-effacement. Leach opens with a shot in which Leiter describes himself as "a minor figure" and suggests that his statement begin the movie; later he insists onscreen that he'll need to see the final cut before he signs a release. One suspects that Leiter, who died in November 2013, considered himself a major figure indeed, but we'll have to settle for the cuddly curmudgeon played here.

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