Mann's Spanish Civil War photographer film
It was back in February of this year that we heard Pierce Brosnan's production company was making a biographical film of the War photographer Robert Capa who famously covered the Spanish Civil War and World War II, and is one of the few photographers who managed to land at Normandy on D-Day.
Now the word is that Michael Mann is set to make a film about the man through his own production company, and it will be based on the novel Waiting for Robert Capa which Jez Butterworth is set to adapt.
Robert Capa is said to be one of the most famous photojournalists of the twentieth century. He covered every major conflict including Vietnam and created some stunning images of war that will be remembered and seen for as long as we reflect on these wars.
He wasn't just about the photography though, his early life as a teenager saw him running from political repression and anti-Semitism, he founded the photographic agency Magnum, and he was a man who loved to gamble and court beautiful ladies, including some icons of the period such as Ingrid Bergman. Among his friends were people such as John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, and John Huston, and his life was a succession of extremes.
I can't find much about the novel in question, but the film, according to Variety through Cinema Blend, will focus on the two year romance during the Spanish Civil War between Robert Capa and fellow photographer Gerda Taro.
It was during this war that both photographers were noticed as the leading combat photographers of their time, but it was during the battle of Brunete in 1937 that Taro was killed and Capa was heartbroken.
It seems an interesting choice to make the film based on this single war, and Michael Mann seems an interesting choice for it. He's said that it will be filmed in a very gritty and low budget style, and suggests it might be very real and very focused on the two characters, something akin to the style of Collateral in look and tone.
Yet for the story itself I can't help but wonder why they are just focusing on this short part of the photographers life. It is a significant event in his life that made his career leap to the fore and perhaps created the person he became with his lost love, but there is so much more to his life that would make for such interesting viewing.
There's also a rather interesting event during the Spanish Civil War that might be brought to the screen, the huge controversy surrounding the photo entitled Falling Soldier, which was taken in 1936 and apparently showed a fighter being shot resulting in his death, the photo can be seen on Wikipedia.
Another photo taken at the same spot shows another soldier apparently being shot, and newspaper and books have been published that dispute the alleged location and the time of the photograph.
Still, it's one photograph in a superb career, and it's that wider career that might have made for the more interesting viewing. Will this one incident overpower the story?