Robert Frank’s Unsentimental Journey
November 25, 2008 6:31 AM   Subscribe

Robert Frank’s Unsentimental Journey. "Published in 1958, Robert Frank’s photographic manifesto, The Americans, torched the national myth, bringing him such comrades as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and—for a controversial documentary—the Rolling Stones. On a trip to China, the 83-year-old rebel of postwar film still defies expectations."

An article from last April that I stumbled on today: it's a great read.
posted by chunking express (6 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Wow - thanks for this. I heard about The Americans some while back, and still haven't seen the whole set. I'll probably pick up one of the more recent pressings, but the archivist in me wants to find a couple versions to compare the cropping (the wiki states: "Most significantly, as he has done for every edition of The Americans, Frank changed the cropping of many of the photographs, usually including more information.")

I was looking for some images of his Chinese tour, and only found this set, where Robert looks kempt and orderly, and these two, where he is a bit more of the image as portrayed by the Vanity Far article.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:38 AM on November 25, 2008

I have the reprint. It's a really nice version, and it's also a LOT cheaper than the older copy. I'm sure someone will post up differences between the two online at some point. If I could travel back in time, I'd have made a post about Robert Frank's the Americans on it's 50th anniversary. I hardly ever do those multi-link posts now.

MDM has links to a documentary on Robert Frank from 1968.

He also wrote a review of the book.
posted by chunking express at 8:06 AM on November 25, 2008

Steidl would have been better off just omitting the little Flash gallery. It seems that visual art sites, of all places, should know better than to pack rich informational content in a claustrophobic 250 x 150 pixel space.
posted by crapmatic at 8:49 AM on November 25, 2008


Photography by Robert Frank, narration by Jack Kerouac, cute faces by Allen Ginsberg (glasses) and Gregory Corso, music by David Amram, dishes by the sink, cockroaches by Manhattan. From Pull My Daisy [complete link].
posted by digaman at 8:49 AM on November 25, 2008

I love The Americans. I was hoping to buy the book earlier this year, but it was too expensive to justify the purchase, so I checked it out of the library. When I mentioned it to a friend of mine later, she got me the new (reasonably priced!) edition as a gift. I hadn't even known it was reprinted this year until I got it.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 9:51 PM on November 27, 2008

BTW, Franks and The Americans are also mentioned in Anthony Lane's sweet meditation on the Leica camera, which got a lot of blog buzz earlier this year.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 9:52 PM on November 27, 2008

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