cartier-bresson and weegee recordings, 1958

Via PDNPulse and Boogie Woogie Flu comes this fascinating 1958 recording of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Weegee (Arthur Fellig) from an album titled Famous Photographers Tell How.

Bresson recording (MP3)

Weegee recording (MP3)

From Boogie Woogie Flu:

…you can hear Weegee talk about picture-making. It's interesting to hear his voice, which is one of those accents you don't hear so much in New York anymore: part Austro-Hungarian immigrant by way of the Lower East Side and part Elmer Fudd. Peter Sellers based his accent in Dr. Strangelove on Weegee's voice after Weegee visited Kubrick's set. One of my favorite things in Weegee's classic 1945 book, Naked City is the last chapter called "Camera Tips" where he gives away some of his tricks of the trade. Dated or not, I learned a tremendous amount when I first read it, about picture taking, and about Weegee.

Arthur Fellig adopted the name Weegee or "Weegee the Famous," alluding to the Ouija board and his knack for being first on the scene is in his days as a roving news and street photographer. It wasn't an accident or any supernatural pre-disposition that he was there first at the fires, murders and general mayhem that he recorded in Gotham. Weegee was the first photographer to have a police scanner (originally in his one room tenement flat across the street from NYC police headquarters and later getting another for his Buick). His photographs of New York from the 30s and 40s are iconographic images of the city and it's inhabitants (both high and low) and important photographs, whether he intended them to be or not. It's been suggested that he was naive, and not a sophisticated photographer, but I don't really believe it, and it doesn't really matter. These pictures are as real as it gets, and great works of art. (see Atget) Later in his career, when he got the idea that he was an artiste is when the pictures became less interesting. (see Richard Avedon)…

…Another segment from Famous Photographers Tell How with Henri Cartier-Bresson. Eloquent, dry, and French like the great philosopher/mathematician image maker that he was.