For Reely and Truly, London-based photographer Tyrone Lebon pays tribute to the medium by tracking down and interviewing dozens of artists and photojournalists, including Juergen Teller, Petra Collins, Nobuyoshi Araki, and Arne Svenson. Tracing a non-linear narrative, the film moves in hallucinatory frames from one photographer to the next, their disparate lives threaded together by recorded conversations between the filmmaker and his father, fashion photographer Mark Lebon.
The thirty minute film, shot on celluloid film, is a precursor to a larger body of work—incorporating text, photographs, and short films— that the artist hopes to release later this year. In conversation with Creative Review, he reveals that the project not only tested his eye but also his stamina and determination, admitting that photographers are an elusive breed. It required two years of inquiry, for instance, to get the ear of Teller, an artist whom he had revered since boyhood.
In profiling Lebon’s contemporaries, the film is ultimately about its creator. As his subjects mine for meaning in their craft, so too does he search for truth within their illusory gestures and ambiguous trains of thought. What binds each man and woman behind the camera is the yearning to record, to remember, and to cherish those things that pass too quickly from view, to transform the ephemeral or imaginary into something concrete and real. Reely and Truly is not only, as the elder Lebon puts it, “a lie about a lie” or “a truth about a truth,” but a memory of a memory and an ode to the ways in which a photograph can make us feel—if only for a moment—invincible.