New Magnum Photos Documentary Looks at the Iconic Images Behind the Scenes of Cinema


Photography is an essential element of cinema. Some cineastes are as passionate about the still frames capturing beloved movies as they are about the movies themselves. FilmStruck is highlighting some of those iconic photos in the documentary Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum, which recently screened at the Telluride Film Festival, and is now playing exclusively on the streaming service. Magnum, of course, is one of the first photographic cooperatives that was co-founded by master photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and others. From FilmStruck’s press office:

For seventy years, the photojournalists of Magnum have observed the world of cinema starting when founder Robert Capa took Magnum’s first photo of cinema – a photo of Ingrid Bergman on the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious, cementing the relationship between the agency and the world of films. Using original, unseen stories and interviews including Bergman’s daughter, Isabella Rossellini, Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum tells the story of a confrontation of two seemingly opposite worlds: fiction and reality, and offers a unique look behind the scenes of cinema in the making.

FilmStruck will also stream a collection of six-minute shorts that highlight a different Magnum photographer, as well as two of the films referenced in the new documentary — John Huston’s 1961 film The Misfits, starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift, and Voyage to Italy, directed by Roberto Rossellini, starring his former partner Ingrid Bergman.

Enjoy a preview of Magnum’s photos, including classic images of Marilyn Monroe (practicing her lines) and James Dean (walking through old Times Square) in our gallery. Watch an exclusive clip of the new documentary, below.

©Burt Glinn, courtesy of Magnum Photos. Spain. Sagaro. 1959. Twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth Taylor on the set of “Suddenly Last Summer”, in which she co-stars with Katharine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift. It is Taylor’s first film after the death of her 3rd husband, Mike Todd, in a plane crash. Just months after Todd’s death, Taylor married Eddie Fisher and found herself at the center of a scandal. It was a place that would become familar for her, though never comfortable, for the next 30 years.

©A. Abbas, courtesy of Magnum Photos. France. Paris. In a dry-cleaner, on the set of the film “Le Passe” by Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi who directs actress Berenice Bejo.

©Bruce Davidson, courtesy of Magnum Photos. USA. California. 1968. Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni during the making of “Zabriskie Point.”

©Dennis Stock, courtesy of Magnum Photos. USA. Fairmount, Indiana. 1955. James Dean in the driveway to the farm owned by his uncle, Marcus Winslow.

©Dennis Stock, courtesy of Magnum Photos. USA. New York City. 1955. James Dean haunted Times Square. For a novice actor in the fifties this was the place to go. The Actors Studio, directed by Lee Strasberg, was in its heyday and just a block away.

©Elliott Erwitt, courtesy of Magnum Photos. USA. Reno, Nevada. 1960. Film set of “The Misfits” by John Huston, with US actors Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach and writer Arthur Miller.

©Elliott Erwitt, courtesy of Magnum Photos. USA. New York. 1954. Marlon Brando during the filming of “On the Waterfront.”

©Eve Arnold, courtesy of Magnum Photos. USA. Illinois. Chicago. A washroom in the Chicago Airport, US actress Marilyn Monroe waits for a plane to Champaign, Illinois, where she was to attend the centenary celebrations of the town of Bement. 1955.

©Eve Arnold, courtesy of Magnum Photos. USA. Nevada. US actress Marilyn Monroe on the Nevada desert going over her lines for a difficult scene she is about to play with Clarke Gable in the film “The Misfits” by John Huston. 1960.

©Gueorgui Pinkhassov, courtesy of Magnum Photos. Russian film director Andreï Tarkovsky.

©Josef Koudelka, courtesy of Magnum Photos. Christophe Batti /Picto.

©Patrick Zachmann, courtesy of Magnum Photos. China. Suzhou. 1995. Making of the film “Temptress Moon” directed by Chen Kaige, Actress Gong Li.

©Robert Capa, ©International Center of Photography, courtesy of Magnum Photos. Hollywood, California. May 1946. Ingrid Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock. The Director Alfred Hitchcock supervising the close-up frame of the cameraman directed on the hand of Ingrid Bergman (which was holding a hidden key to a wine cellar)) during the filming of “Notorious.”