Michael Mann Turns His Camera on Renowned Spanish Civil War Photographer Robert Capa

     October 4, 2009


Ever since “Public Enemies”, I’ve started to become suspicious of this Michael Mann character.  Sometimes he gives me brilliant movies that I love and other times he shoots a 1920s gangster movie with a digital camera so it looks like grainy, anachronistic crap on top of being a painfully boring narrative.  So when I hear he wants to make a movie about Robert Capa, a man whose photos and life are both powerful and compelling, I’m not just hesitant about the idea, but kind of worried.  Hit the jump to read more about Capa, see some of his photos, and perhaps share my sentiment about Mann.

Variety reports that Columbia Pictures and Mann will do a biopic on Robert Capa based on the Spanish-language novel, “Waiting for Robert Capa”, with a focus on his romance with fellow photographer Gerda Taro.  Capa and Taro were both refugees, he from Fascist Hungary and she from Nazi Germany, when they met in Paris in 1935.  They both went to Spain when the country’s civil war began a year later.  There, Capa would take photos which would make him a legend of war photography and Taro as the first frontline female battle photographer in history.  Sadly, Taro was killed in 1937 in the Battle of Brunete.

This sounds like an amazing story.  Now think back to what you thought about “Public Enemies”.  Think back to what you thought about Mann’s previous biopic, “Ali”.  Were you over the moon about either?  I wasn’t and I’m hoping that Mann gets distracted by another project and this ends up in the hands of a different filmmaker who may better suit the project.  Unfortunately for me, Variety says that Mann is aiming to make a gritty, low-budget feature and so it seems like it would be his next project.  Unfortunately for everyone, “gritty, low budget” also means that he’s probably breaking out those damn digital cameras again.

As I try to raise my hopes by thinking about “Collateral” and “The Insider”, you can see a couple of Capa’s photographs below.



*I know the Mann-diehards will say, “Yes.”  I’m not asking them.

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