10 Photographers on the Books and Movies That Inspire Them

From the Photography Zine, Dog Food

March 15, 2017  By Rachel Cobb

Dog Food is a unique photography zine combining mostly archival material with a bit of satire and cynicism, published by Red Hook Editions. The dog was the symbol of the Ancient Greek cynics because they lived simply and sniffed out the truth, not unlike photographers. So we made a zine with food for dogs… and food for thought!   –Jason Eskenazi, Dog Food co-founder and co-publisher

(image by Rachel Cobb – on Instagram @RachelCobbPhoto.)

victor cobo Victor Cobo, The Timeless Beauty of Love & Death, San Francisco, 2015


Women, Charles Bukowski
Fear Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
Tristessa, Jack Kerouac
Narcisa, Our Lady of Ashes, Jonathan Shaw
Catching the Big Fish, David Lynch
The Brutality of Fact: Interviews with Francis Bacon, David Sylvester, Francis Bacon
Ham on Rye, Charles Bukowski
Hollywood, Charles Bukowski
Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, Hunter S. Thompson
Lynch on Lynch, Chris Rodle

Memento, Christopher Nolan
Enter the Void, Gaspar Noé
Inland Empire, David Lynch
Mulholland Drive, David Lynch
Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock
Eraserhead, David Lynch
A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick
Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Ana Lily Amirpour
The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodóvar


Peter Van Agtmael, The Iowa GOP Ronald Reagan dinner headlined by Sarah Palin. Des Moines, Iowa, 2010


Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
Dispatches, Michael Herr
Waiting for the Barbarians, J.M. Coetzee
The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm
All of Ha Jin, especially The Bridegroom
Chronicles: Volume One, Bob Dylan
Much of Kurt Vonnegut, especially The Sirens of Titan
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, George Saunders
Thinking the Twentieth Century, Tony Judt

Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki
Baraka, Ron Fricke
The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick
Fog of War, Errol Morris
The Big Lebowski, Joel and Ethan Coen
Rushmore, Wes Anderson
Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman
The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer
Star Wars, George Lucas
No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese



US soldier at Iraqi National Guard police station, Camp Warhorse, Baquba, Iraq, 2005; M*A*S*H* screen shot of US Army hospital and medevac unit in Korean War, 2005


Tintin Au Pays De L’Or Noir and all by Hergé
Durchs Wilde Kurdistan and all by Karl May
Our Game, John le Carré
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Circle of Deceit, Nicholas Born
The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil
A Hero of Our Time, Mikhail Lermontov
A Journey to Arzrum, Alexander Pushkin
All of the SAS series by Gérard de Villiers
Orientalism, Edward W. Said

All James Bond films
All Karl May’s Winnetou collection, Harald Reini
M*A*S*H*, the television series
I am Cuba, Mikhail Kalatozov
Frantic, Roman Polanski
Da Ali G Show, the series, various directors
Tame-Gilas, Abbas Kiarostami
Deadline, Nathaniel Gutman
The Red Chapel, Mads Brügger
The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino


alvakian Alexandra Avakian, Civil War, Yuai, South Sudan, 1993


The Stranger, Albert Camus
The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
To Have and Have Not, Ernest Hemingway
Animal Farm, George Orwell
The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
Men in the Sun, Ghassan Kanafani
God Dies by the Nile, Nawal El Saadawi
Acts of Faith, Phillip Caputo

Traffic, Steven Soderbergh
Ararat, Atom Egoyan
End of the Road, Aram Avakian
All About Eve, Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Touch of Evil, Orson Welles
Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock
Blowup, Michelangelo Antonioni
The Color of Pomegranates, Sergei Parajanov
Burnt by the Sun, Nikita Mikhalkov
The Constant Gardener, Fernando Meirelles

Yusuf Sevincli, Untitled from the series Good Dog, 2012



The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa
The Time Regulation Institute, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar
In Praise of Folly, Desiderius Erasmus
The City in History, Lewis Mumford
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Omar Khayyam
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Tristes Tropiques, Claude Lévi-Strauss
All works by Edgar Allan Poe
Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century, Greil Marcus
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Fight Club, David Fincher
Wild Strawberries, Ingmar Bergman
Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard
Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard
Man with a Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov
Decasia, Bill Morrison
The Holy Mountain, Alejandro Jodorowsky
Yol, Yılmaz Güney
Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky
Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón


Harvey Stein, Untitled, 2010


Dear Theo: The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh, Vincent van Gogh
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks
Concrete, Thomas Bernhard
Life Work, Donald Hall
Camera Lucida, Roland Barth
Labyrinth, Paul Auster
Time’s Arrow, Martin Amis

Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Werner Herzog
Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Taxi Driver, Martin Scorsese
Wings of Desire, Wim Wenders
Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog
On the Waterfront, Elia Kazan
The Thin Blue Line, Errol Morris
La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini
Citizen Kane, Orson Welles


Tanya Habjouqa, from series Occupied Pleasures, 2013


Sophie’s Choice, William Styron
Henry and June, Anaïs Nin
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Big Sur, Jack Kerouac
Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera
The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosiński
Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices, Akram Zaatari
The Hakawati, Rabih Alameddine
Hell’s Angels, Hunter S. Thompson

Black Orpheus, Marcel Camus
Henry & June, Philip Kaufman
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Alan Rudolph
Al Karnak, Aly Badrakhan
Jaws, Steven Spielberg
The Exorcist, William Friedkin
West Beirut, Ziad Doueiri
Divine Intervention, Elia Suleiman
Sex and Lucia, Julio Medem
The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino


Bill Burke, Untitled


Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, James Agee
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Kentucky Straight, Chris Offutt
Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
The Plague, Albert Camus
Dune, Frank Herbert
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
The Lover, Marguerite Duras
Mortal Lessons, Richard Selzer

Apocalypse Now, Frances Ford Coppola
Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Werner Herzog
Beauty and the Beast, Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
Wings of Desire, Wim Wenders
One-Eyed Jacks, Marlon Brando
The Music Room, Satyajit Ray
Into the Abyss, Werner Herzog
No Country for Old Men, Joel and Ethan Coen
Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino

Krisanne Johnson, Untitled from the series I Love You Real Fast, 2010


John Ashbery’s poems
Alice Munroe – anything, all of it
Lucia Berlin’s short stories
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Plague, Albert Camus
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Dr. Zhivago, David Lean
Days of Heaven, Terrence Malick
A New World, Park Hoon-Jung
The Piano, Jane Campion
On the Waterfront, Elia Kazan
Winter’s Bone, Debra Granik
Urban Cowboy, James Bridges
Bright Star, Jane Campion
Howards End, James Ivory
The Pianist, Roman Polanski


Rania Matar, Wafa’a and Samira, Bourj El Barajneh Refugee Camp, Beirut, Lebanon, 2016


Hold Still, Sally Mann
Les Désorientés, Amin Maalouf
Les Identités Meurtrières, Amin Maalouf
L’Elégance du Hérisson, Muriel Barbery
The Cairo Trilogy, Naguib Mahfouz
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Trooper
Oscar and the Lady in Pink, Eric Emmanuel Schmitt
The Giver, Lois Lowry
The Alchemist, Paul Coelho

Boyhood, Richard Linklater
My Cousin Vinny, Jonathan Lynn
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Pedro Almodóvar
Les Intouchables, Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
The Devil Wears Prada, David Frankel
The Silver Lining Playbook, David O. Russell
Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock
The Graduate, Mike Nichols
Caramel, Nadine Labaki
Nebraska, Alexander Payne

Rachel Cobb
Rachel Cobb
Rachel Cobb is a photographer who lives in New York City. She has worked for numerous publications including The New York Times, Time magazine and Rolling Stone magazine. Her award-winning book Mistral: The Legendary Wind of Provence was published by Damiani in 2018. You can find her on the web at @rachelcobbphoto.

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