Monsieur Contraste and the Church of Photography | The Carrack Modern Art | Screen: Special Showings | Indy Week

Screen: Special Showings

Monsieur Contraste and the Church of Photography

When: Feb. 19-23, 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 26-March 1 2014

Dylan once sang that "there's no success like failure, and failure's no success at all," but from the evidence of Monsieur Contraste, photographer Jean-Christian Rostagni prefers ditties by Hoagy Carmichael and Serge Gainsbourg. In this documentary by Rodrigo Dorfman, we learn about Rostagni's penchant for printing photos with classic silver-based processing techniques. Rostagni's work also comes from his leftist convictions. He brushes off pleas of his wife and his agent to find softer subjects and put them into more lucrative, if ideologically suspect, limited editions. "An artist does not do what the market expects of him but instead brings the market to him," Rostagni tells his agent. Van Gogh was like that, the agent retorts, and "he died poor. It would be a bummer to be his agent." While a bit long at 62 minutes, the film is an affectionate portrait of a quirky and defiant Durhamite, and it benefits from Dorfman's confident camera work and editing. A series of nine screenings runs through Feb. 23, then resumes Feb. 26March 1. —David Fellerath

Price: $5

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