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De verliefde camera © Ed van der Elsken, Nederlands Fotomuseum

De verliefde camera © Ed van der Elsken, Nederlands Fotomuseum

Watch at home on the Eye Film Player

De films van Ed van der Elsken

I celebrate life...

5 December 2023 — 31 January 2024

still from Death in the Port Jackson Hotel (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1972)

still uit Death in the Port Jackson Hotel (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1972)

Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) is regarded as one of the most important photographers internationally, alongside giants such as Robert Frank and William Klein, achieving fame worldwide for photography books such as 'Een liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint-Germain-des-Prés' (1956) and 'Eye Love You' (1977).

Sometimes referred to as a ‘vlogger avant la lettre’, Ed van der Elsken set out with his 16mm camera to record life, people, and ultimately himself in a provocative, committed way. The 16mm films (Eye collection) by this filmmaking photographer have now been remastered and are available to watch for free on Eye Film Player.

still from Welkom in het leven, lieve kleine (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1963)

still uit Welkom in het leven, lieve kleine (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1963)

Watch at home

You can watch Ed van der Elsken's films on the Eye Film Player

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still from Het Waterlooplein verdwijnt (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1967)

still uit Het Waterlooplein verdwijnt (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1967)

Van der Elsken’s love of people always shines through; he talked to them, challenged them, empathised and lived with them. “I celebrate life. I’m no more complex than that. And this means I celebrate everything: love, courage, beauty, but also rage, blood, sweat and tears.”

Read more about Van der Elsken in our Online Magazine

Watch the programme trailer:

It's less well-known that from 1960, alongside his stills camera, Van der Elsken also used a film camera – initially a 16mm Bolex (held in the Eye collection). This filmmaking photographer recorded subjects including his family life around Amsterdam’s Nieuwmarkt district and the polder around Edam, and finally appearing in front of the camera himself. From 1988, Van der Elsken reported – poignantly and without sentiment – on the illness that would finally destroy him: prostate cancer.

still from Een fotograaf filmt Amsterdam (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1982)

still uit Een fotograaf filmt Amsterdam (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1982)

still from Welkom in het leven, lieve kleine (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1963)

still uit Welkom in het leven, lieve kleine (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1963)

A large number of these 16mm films can now be seen on Eye’s streaming service, Eye Film Player. The films – ranging in length from 4 to 79 minutes – have been digitally remastered by Eye in collaboration with Sound & Vision and Van der Elsken’s heirs. This means that the work is now available online for the first time, in optimum picture quality.

still from Het Waterlooplein verdwijnt (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1967)

still uit Het Waterlooplein verdwijnt (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1967)

still from Een fotograaf filmt Amsterdam (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1982)

still uit Een fotograaf filmt Amsterdam (Ed van der Elsken, NL 1982)