Nordic Light 2012
Mary Ellen Mark & Martin Bell
Mary Ellen Mark and Martin Bell
Photographer Mary Ellen Mark is married to film director Martin Bell. The couple resides in Manhattan, New York. They are both coming to Nordic Light, the festival that they’ve heard so much about.
Together they’ve been working on a project which is being released in April - a book and film called Prom about the American tradition. For four years, from 2006-2009, they travelled around the country and documented proms. Prom is a rite of passage and one of the most important rituals of American youth; a day that is never forgotten - a day full of hopes and dreams for the future. The film explores the lives of teenagers as they transition from childhood to adulthood. Three-hundred students were interviewed on their prom night about relationships, schoolwork, family and friends. They went to twelve high schools in 10 cities, covering a wide range of ethnic and economic groups. While Mary Ellen Mark made portraits of the Prom-goers with the 20x24 Polaroid cameras, Martin Bell interviewed the students in an adjacent studio. “Prom” was in the opening night program at the Los Angeles Shorts Fest. Their lecture will be a show with both showing photographs and film, and is not to be missed (!)
Mary Ellen Mark (1940, USA)
Mary Ellen Mark is an American photographer known for her photojournalism, portraiture, and advertising photography. She has achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions and editorial magazine work. She is a contributing photographer to The New Yorker and publications in LIFE, New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. For over four decades, she has traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism. She has photographed on the sets of more than 100 movies, amongst them Apocalypse Now (1979) and Australia (2008).
Today, she is recognized as one of our most respected and influential photographers. Her images of our world's diverse cultures have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography. Mary Ellen is well known for establishing strong relationships with her subjects. Her portrayals of Mother Teresa, Indian circuses, and brothels in Bombay were the product of many years of work in India. She primarily works in black and white.
Martin Bell started out as a freelance cinematographer for documentaries and drama on English television before coming to the U.S. 20 years ago. Martin is at ease in both documentary and narrative storytelling. He has directed such documentaries as Academy Award nominated "Streetwise", which followed the lives of runaway kids on the streets of Seattle and “Circus of Dreams” set in the Indian Circus for National Geographic Television. He has directed narrative features films including "American Heart" starring Jeff Bridges and "Hidden in America", featuring both Beau and Jeff Bridges. His ongoing film project, “A New York Story”, aims to capture the energy and resilient spirit of New York City since September 11, 2001.