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Poster for The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography
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The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography

Opens on October 12

Director: Errol Morris Run Time: 76 min. Release Year: 2017

Starring: Allen Ginsberg, Elsa Dorfman, Errol Morris, Joni Mitchell, W.H. Auden

Tagline: Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman found her medium in 1980: the larger-than-life Polaroid Land 20×24 camera. For the next thirty-five years she captured the “surfaces” of those who visited her Cambridge, Massachusetts studio: families, Beat poets, rock stars, and Harvard notables. As pictures begin to fade and her retirement looms, Dorfman gives Errol Morris an inside tour of her backyard archive.

The B-Side is a loving portrait of a unique artist too often overlooked in considerations of 20th century photography. It revels in the intimate beauty of Dorfman’s portraits and in her singular appreciation for the ordinary aspects of human life. As photographs begin to fade and Dorfman’s retirement looms, Morris’s film reminds us of a bygone era of analog photography and the extraordinary life of one of its champions.

Critic Quotes: “From defying gender expectation in her younger years to refusing to let tragedy shape her as she matures, Dorfman is a force, and spending time with her is an invaluable experience.” – Guardian

“Endearing and significant.” – Wall Street Journal

“This film will convince you that she definitely deserves a higher position in the pantheon.” – Hollywood Reporter


Thursday, October 12, 2023: 6:30

Ticket Prices: $12 Regular / $10 Students & Seniors / $9 Members


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