The Woodmans | Chicago Reader

The Woodmans

Francesca Woodman, who committed suicide in 1981 at age 22, was a brilliant photographer specializing in enigmatic, black-and-white, nude self-portraits, and this superb 2010 documentary by C. Scott Willis explores the complexities of her life and work with insight and detached clarity. Intimate, revealing interviews with Woodman's parents, Betty and George (both noted artists themselves), as well as other family and friends, are juxtaposed with images from Francesa's provocative, quasi-surrealist oeuvre, excerpts from her experimental videos and haunting journal, and scenes of the family's homes in New York, Italy, and Colorado. With its haunting percussion score (by David Lang) and deft narrative structure, this film is ultimately about our desire—and inability—to fully comprehend the mysterious processes of art and living.



  • Scott Willis


  • Jeff Werner
  • Scott Willis
  • Neil Barrett

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