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Don't Blink: Robert Frank

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Canada, France, United States · 2015
1h 22m
Director Laura Israel
Starring June Leaf, Robert Frank, Sid Kaplan, William S. Burroughs
Genre Documentary

The life and work of Robert Frank—as a photographer and a filmmaker—are so intertwined that they're one in the same. Don't Blink is Laura Israel's like-minded portrait of her friend and collaborator, a lively rummage sale of images and sounds and friendships that leaves us a fast and fleeting imprint of the life of the Swiss-born man who reinvented himself the American way.

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What are critics saying?


The Playlist by

In embracing the disorienting quality present in Frank’s work, 'Don’t Blink' is but an abstract portrait, muddled by a jarring messiness.


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

You leave with a vivid sense of the man’s living presence and a reasonably thorough account of his life, work and associations. Given the sheer volume and variety of the work in question, this is an impressive achievement.


New York Post by Farran Smith Nehme

Frank’s work is phenomenal, but his longtime editor and collaborator Laura Israel seems determined during the course of her documentary never to give you a moment long enough to contemplate it.


The Film Stage by Jacob Oller

Don’t Blink is the rare documentary both vague enough to whet your appetite and specific enough to imbue a sense of kinship with its subject, like an old friend from camp you haven’t seen in decades. Like Frank himself, the film chugs ever forward as an elaborate, chaotic, grumpy, optimistic mess.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by James Adams

Don’t Blink is a friendly film by a friend – honest and historically aware, but almost unfailingly affectionate and attuned to the “spontaneous intuition” that, 92 years after his birth, still seems the governing principle of Frank’s life.


Variety by Nick Schager

It’s a unique, associative blend of sounds and images that aims to convey details as well as underlying truths about Frank’s life. Unfortunately, it also often leaves one feeling aesthetically pummeled to the point of exhaustion.