The B-Side | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated R · 76 minutes · 2017

At first glance, the open, jovial Elsa Dorfman hardly seems like the kind of slippery subject—Donald Rumsfeld, Robert McNamara, Fred Leuchter—that documentary director Errol Morris has over the years pinned under the gaze of his “Interrotron” camera. Dorfman herself is a photographer, and The B-Side might have been intriguing simply for the images she has captured over the years of people like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and her long-time friend Allen Ginsburg. Yet the focal point becomes Dorfman’s chosen artistic instrument—the Polaroid camera—and how its obsolescence tracks with her nearing the end of her career, and the intimations of mortality she confronts in the death of friends and family, or watching herself get older in her self-portraits. “I’m totally not interested in capturing their souls,” Dorfman says of her portrait subjects, “only how they seem,” and that honestly superficial approach to her art frames everything Morris shows us about Dorfman. Like this documentary, sometimes a work of art succeeds not by digging deeply, but simply by capturing an elusive moment in time.
Staff Rating:
Director: Errol Morris
Producer: Steven Hathaway, Robert Fernandez and Julia Sheehan
Cast: Elsa Dorfman

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