Two months in now, it’s time for a coronavirus stream of consciousness. Have you been watching Korean Baseball in the past couple of weeks? Seen the cardboard cutouts of fans in the empty stadiums? That reminded me of the filming of Invincible, the 2006 Disney movie based on the story of South Philadelphia bartender Vince Papale (played by Mark Wahlberg), who made the team in an open tryout during head coach Dick Vermeil’s first season with the Eagles in 1976.

They used inflatable fans to fill the seats in Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania, which was a stand-in for Veterans Stadium, demolished by implosion a year earlier.

During a publicity event for the movie, the art director told reporters how painstakingly he strove to get all the Philadelphia and football details right. Like persuading the Wilson Sporting Goods factory in Ada, Ohio, to handcraft a half-dozen official NFL game balls with the signature of former then-commissioner Pete Rozelle. So why, I asked, are your sideline-photographer extras all “covering” a day game with flashes? And 50mm lenses? He said something about how they really wouldn’t be in a scene for very long.

I’m sure every profession finds a dozen things to snicker at that movies get wrong about their jobs. At least the sports photographers in the movie weren’t using 4x5 cameras – like Arthur “Weegee” Fellig did in New York in the 1930s and ’40s.

Still with me? That almost brings me to the end of the stream. My colleague Gary Thompson started a weekly quarantine movie club he calls “One Movie, One Philadelphia” back at the beginning of the stay-at-home orders as a way for everyone to join him, watching the same movie with a Philadelphia connection (of course, the first week was Rocky).

I’ve started streaming movies about photographers. Some I’d already seen, like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954); some I hadn’t, like City of God (2002). I don’t have the space here to list them all.

Digital Camera World has two recent lists. One lists movies about “real” photographers, like the eponymous telemovie Margaret Bourke-White, as played by Farrah Fawcett carrying a 4x5 Speed Graphic (just like Joe Pesci in The Public Eye, from 1992, about Weegee).

James Stewart in Rear Window (1954) with his Exakta VX Ihagee Dresden camera and Kilfitt fern-kilar f/5.6 400mm telephoto lens).
Universal Studios
James Stewart in Rear Window (1954) with his Exakta VX Ihagee Dresden camera and Kilfitt fern-kilar f/5.6 400mm telephoto lens).

The other covers “pretend” ones, like James Stewart in the Hitchcock movie. Movietimeguru has some not on those lists.

And finally, a list of documentaries anout photographers, movies made by photographers, and YouTube conversations with photographers was compiled by PetaPixel. Enjoy.

Since 1998, a black-and-white photo has appeared every Monday in staff photographer Tom Gralish’s photo column in The Inquirer’s local news section. Here are the most recent, in color: