260MC: Little Italy- William Klein

We were given the photo “Little Italy” by William Klein. In this photo there four subjects, one is not seen, the other three are children smiling at the camera. The adult who isn’t properly in shot is holding a small boy’s hand and is pointing a gun at his head. The other two children seem to be oblivious to this. The young boy also looks blind, however this could be due to bad lighting as Klein was known to be quite rebellious in his photography since he never had proper training, therefore he just took photos whichever way he felt like (preferably close up and wide shot).

I photograph what i see in front of me, I move in close to see better and use a wide-angle lens to get as much as possible in the frame.

From this impression of the boy being blind we decided to take the theme of blind trust and use that as our inspiration for our short film.

I learned that Klein enjoyed using blurs, light leaks and going against the grain to his advantage to create something more unique and spontaneous in his compositions. It made accidents look good and it complimented his work however because of the use of this “taboo” it was difficult for professional photographers and journalists to appreciate his work.

“In the 1950s I couldn’t find an American publisher for my New York pictures,” he says. “Everyone I showed them to said, ‘Ech! This isn’t New York – too ugly , too seedy and too one-sided.’ They said ‘This isn’t photography, this is shit!’” – William Klein (1981)

This could be inspirational to us as we could capture blur and light leaks in our short film as a form of surrealism.




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