poets of everyday life
May 31, 2009 12:14 PM   Subscribe

A creative New York couple and their wonderful, vintage photographs: pioneering filmmaker, Morris Engel, and award-winning photojournalist, Ruth Orkin, who is renowned for her iconic American Girl in Italy.

Morris Engel wrote and directed three films: "The Little Fugitive" (1953), "Lovers and Lollipops" (1956), and "Weddings and Babies" (1958).

Little Fugitive is a paean to the sights, smells, and sounds of New York, from the cramped but somehow comforting streets of Brooklyn to the dazzling chaos of Coney Island as seen through a child’s eyes.

An interview with their daughter, Mary Engel. ( This site includes entertaining interviews with a variety of other New Yorkers.)

posted by nickyskye (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Man, I've always loved that Orkin photo. It's like a 19th century narrative painting. Thanks nickyskye!
posted by The Whelk at 1:36 PM on May 31, 2009

Just in case anyone out there isn't aware of it, Orkin's "American Girl in Italy" was posed/faked, in short, not documentary.
posted by Faze at 2:21 PM on May 31, 2009

Not to say anything against "The Little Fugitive", a great New York film and a unique work of art.
posted by Faze at 2:25 PM on May 31, 2009

i love that it was posed. it makes it all the more wonderful. documentary can be deceptive anyway. tell me the story. it doesn't need to be "actual" for me to treasure it.
posted by billybobtoo at 3:02 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

I didn't know that it was posed. I always thought it looked forced though, and considered it wildly overrated. That gives me a bit of a smug sense of satisfaction.

That's not to knock Ruth Orkin as a photographer. I think she produced some really nice work, and I encourage anyone interested to look through her archive website. I just think it's bizarre that American Girl has somehow defined her.
posted by Magnakai at 3:35 PM on June 1, 2009

« Older Once Rapture starts leaking, the old girl's never...   |   Hey Kids, Ditko Comics! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments