The Cinema & Photography Of Eric Valli

Eric Valli’s 1999 film “Himalaya” is a beautiful anthropological act in the guise of “adventure” fiction. The first Academy Award nominated Nepalese film (albeit directed by Frenchman Valli, who has lived in Nepal since 1983), it was shot in a virtually inaccessible region of the midwestern Nepalese “uphills” and stars locals from the area. Spirited by a pitch-perfect humanist tone, the film lovingly focuses on the daily lives and traditions of the people of the upper Dolpo. Some wooden performances from the non-professional actors only serve to further clarify the movie’s honesty. It’s a wonderful viewing experience.

I haven’t seen it in several years, but now a blog post at the killer graphic design site iso50 - by musician and graphiketeer Scott Hansen – has brought Eric Valli the photographer into my life.

Valli’s work is breathtaking. I’m going to blow these images out beyond the borders of my humble page layout. I know it’s tacky, but the bigger these photographs are the better (images link to Valli’s site)…

Showcasing a few photographs here doesn’t do the scope of his work justice. It took me forever to pick four images and in no way are these the best four or even the most representative. Taking in all the work as a whole is staggering and I urge you to check out his site.

In 2002 he shot a documentary called “Honey Hunter”, about the cliff climbing, honey hunting Gurung tribesmen of west-central Nepal. At Valli’s site are some incredible photographs of the workers precariously hanging from cliff-faces above the verdant forest. You can click here to see 9 min. of the film. In 2006 he shot another fictional film in Namibia called “The Trail”. You tube has a making of video.

Eric Valli’s photographs are regularly published in National Geographic, GEO and Life magazines and he’s the recipient of three World Press Awards.


Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Film & TV, Journal, Photos

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