For 65 years and counting, Burk Uzzle has created some of the most iconic photographs in American history. From the time he was hired by LIFE magazine at age 23 (actually, from even earlier, when he was a high school student who found himself delivering papers on his bike route which often bore his own pictures on their front pages), Uzzle has contributed to American history with majestic, intimate fine art and photojournalism. His coverage of the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the communal living on the edges of the Woodstock festival, and the people, landscapes, and architecture of America’s small towns and back roads, engage with civil rights, race, and social justice.
Now from Director Jethro Waters — himself a writer, producer, editor, and cinematographer — comes the new documentary F11 and Be There, which in addition to a richness of wide-ranging interviews with Uzzle, plentiful archival materials, and behind the scenes creative-process footage, is also a gorgeously produced film in itself. Warm and evocative cinematography, quirky and wonderful animated interstitials, lavish use of interesting music, and interviews with Uzzle’s subjects combine for a thoughtful and frequently profound and emotional portrait of an artist who has never been more engaged with his craft and message. Opens at Laemmle’s streaming service on Friday, October 9; laemmle.com.