Time Out Melbourne

Why take hundreds of thousands of photographs for no one else to see?

From the '50s to the '80s, Vivian Maier and her ever-present Rolleiflex camera captured astonishing images of street life: grizzled men proud like pharaohs; well-dressed women gazing under their hats; children trying desperately not to cry. They're pictures that seem both like candid moments and deliberate provocations, and they've turned Maier into one of the world's most celebrated street photographers.

But we might never have seen these images except for one man with self-confessed obsessive tendencies, John Maloof, stumbling across a box of her negatives. Now he co-directs the doco Finding Vivian Maier, showing how he collected everything he could of Maier's – negatives, prints, film reels, audio tapes, newspaper clippings – and trying to get her work seen as it never was while she was alive.

Finding Vivian Maier is as much a detective story than an artistic appreciation, though. We discover she worked mainly as a nanny, wore shapeless, out-of-date clothing, and had an odd maybe-French-maybe-not accent. She was eccentric, uncompromising, and perhaps deeply damaged. The more this fascinating doco reveals, the more mysterious Maier seems. Why take these photographs just to squirrel them away? Would she have ever wanted the world to see them?

By Martyn Pedler   |  

Finding Vivian Maier screening video

Finding Vivian Maier screening details

Federation Square
Cnr Swanston & Flinders Sts, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 8663 2583

Nearby Stations: Flinders Street

Buy tickets Price $15.00 to $20.00

Date Thu 16 Oct

Alternative dates Sat 18 Oct, Thu 23 Oct

Open Thu 7pm; Sat & Thu Oct 23 5.30pm

Director: John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

Finding Vivian Maier screening website

Australian Centre for the Moving Image - ACMI map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

Time Out

51m - Time Out Melbourne - no we haven't opened a café, this place is nothing to...

Transport Public Bar

55m - With multi entertainment venues, including a cocktail bar, a formal dining...

Riverland Bar

61m - It's pretty much all about Friday night sausages and mulled wine at...


63m - Located at the top floor of the Transport Hotel, Transit is a cocktail...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

ACMI Store

36m - Negotiating the exit of the  Australian Centre for the Moving Image...


50m - Artplay is a civic space where children and families can get creative and...

More venues nearby

You might also like

Best dishes

Best dishes

The very best things we put in our mouths this month

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus