American Masters (1985– )
7.8/10
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Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens 

This film traces the artistic self-realization of Annie Leibovitz, from childhood through the death of her beloved friend... See full synopsis »

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This film traces the artistic self-realization of Annie Leibovitz, from childhood through the death of her beloved friend... See full synopsis »

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3 January 2007 (USA)  »

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Engaging Documentary with a Mixed Message
14 July 2013 | by (London) – See all my reviews

This engagingly produced documentary concentrates on the various phases of photographer Annie Leibowitz's career, from her beginnings in the San Francisco protest movement in the late 1960s, to her long association with ROLLING STONE magazine, her subsequent move to VANITY FAIR and her work with VOGUE. We see her at work on photo-shoots in Paris and the United States, with subjects including actress Kirsten Dunst in MARIE ANTOINETTE. The program - originally produced on HBO - has a strong cast of celebrity interviewees including Whoopi Goldberg, Hillary Roddam Clinton, Tina Brown, and Yoko Ono. The overall impression, however, is a mixed one: while Leibowitz is an undoubtedly talented artist, with a unique ability to capture images on film, it seems that she has become more concerned with photographing celebrities, rather than recording life around her. It seems that contemporary cultures are more preoccupied with worlds of surface that obfuscate rather than explore the truth. This is a shame, as Leibowitz's early career, as well as her subsequent work in the Bosnian civil war of the 1990s, reveal her to be a talented historian as well as a war photographer.


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