The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Repost)

Editors Note: This is an older blog post from another one of my sites but I thought it bared reposting after I watched the film again recently, if for nothing more than it’s reverence to Life Magazine’s photography and mission statement.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

succinctly and, accurately and passionately communicates the real why’s that photography is important. Quite moving. Enjoy!

–J.H.


I know I’m a little late to the game. It’s been nearly a year since it was released in theaters and certainly a few months that it’s been out on DVD and digital, but The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has to be one of the best movies of the last year. Particularly where photography fanatics are concerned.

Yes, it’s a little decadent, and a little farcical, but there’s no denying that it pays a great tribute and homage to photography and what photography was back in days of Life Magazine. And what it could still be, if we’d only all pay attention.

Walter Mitty, played by Ben Stiller, is a photo archivist for Life magazine as it is shutting down and ceasing operations for good. An enigmatic location-photographer played by Sean Penn, leaves Walter with one last roll of film to be developed, saying it holds the key to everything that the magazine is about and that it should be included as the final cover.

Walter loses track of the final picture, not understanding what it is or why it should be on the cover. Using the other photos on the roll as clues, he embarks on a journey across the world, taking him on adventures he knew he could never have imagined accomplishing before that.  When he eventually finds out what the picture is of and where it was all along, the effect is magical. Both from a lifestyle perspective and from a photography perspective.

If you haven’t checked it out I strongly recommend it.

–Joel

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