Documentarian Errol Morris has something of an obsession with cameras, both as a tool of his trade and as a subject for his work. His 2010 documentary Tabloid derived much of its power from the lurid draw of the captured image, while 2008’s Standard Operating Procedure explored the Abu Ghraib prison scandal through the lens of the guards’ bizarre drive to photograph their abuses. Now, Morris is exploring the sweeter, more nostalgic side of snapping photos, releasing a trailer for his latest doc, The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography.
Massachusetts-based Dorfman has spent nearly 50 years working as a photographer, capturing families, friends, and a number of influential Beat generation figures on her distinctive large-format Polaroid film—which has since been discontinued by the company, forcing Dorfman to delicately ration her remaining stock. The trailer shows Dorfman leading Morris’ own camera through decades of work, reflecting on her own drive for happiness and the human moments clients often reject in favor of more polished perfections. (Hence the B-Sides of the title.)
The trailer suggests that this latest film is Morris at his sweetest, with The B-Side earning strong reviews as it makes its way around the festival circuit. It’s set to debut in theaters nationwide on June 2.