IMDb > "American Masters" Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2006)

"American Masters" Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2006)

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Overview

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7.8/10   335 votes »
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Original Air Date:
12 October 2006 (Season 20, Episode 8)
Plot:
User Reviews:
Photog Leibovitz Masters bottom of the barrel in more ways than one. See more (3 total) »

Cast

 (Episode Cast)

Mikhail Baryshnikov ... Himself

Graydon Carter ... Himself

Hillary Clinton ... Herself (as Hillary Rodham Clinton)

George Clooney ... Himself

Robert Downey Jr. ... Himself

Kirsten Dunst ... Herself

Whoopi Goldberg ... Herself

Mick Jagger ... Himself

Keira Knightley ... Herself

Annie Leibovitz ... Herself

Bette Midler ... Herself

Demi Moore ... Herself

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage)

Yoko Ono ... Herself

Keith Richards ... Himself

Julia Roberts ... Herself

Chris Rock ... Himself

Jason Schwartzman ... Himself

Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Himself
Susan Sontag ... Herself (archive footage)

Gloria Steinem ... Herself

Hunter S. Thompson ... Himself (archive footage)

Jann Wenner ... Himself

Anna Wintour ... Herself

Tom Wolfe ... Himself (archive footage)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Barbara Leibovitz 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Barbara Leibovitz  writer

Produced by
Paul Hardart .... executive producer
Tom Hardart .... executive producer
Susan Lacy .... executive producer
Jessica Levin .... co-producer (as Jessica Cohen)
Katia Maguire .... associate producer
Pauline Piechota .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Gaili Schoen 
 
Cinematography by
Nicholas Blair 
Jaime Hellman 
Barbara Leibovitz (director of photography)
Ed Marritz 
Ian Vollmer 
 
Film Editing by
Kristen Huntley 
Jed Parker 
 
Sound Department
Mark Mandler .... sound
Roger Phenix .... sound
 
Visual Effects by
Lisa Daly .... visual effects artist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Craig Feldman .... gaffer
Alison Kelly .... camera operator: additional photography
Sidharta Pascual .... gaffer
 
Editorial Department
Pamela Scott Arnold .... additional editor
Anthony Matt .... on-line editor
 
Music Department
James Newton Howard .... score producer
Michael Monagan .... musician: guitar
Gaili Schoen .... score producer
 
Other crew
Joanna Davis .... intern
April Hayes .... photo archivist
Nicole London .... production coordinator
Dara Taylor .... production intern (uncredited)
 

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Susan Lacy  creator: American Masters

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

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Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Photog Leibovitz Masters bottom of the barrel in more ways than one., 11 April 2009
Author: st-shot from United States

There have been few if any American Masters that have disappointed me over its 20 plus year run on PBS. Most of the shows edified in ways that many times added to my understanding and appreciation of the artists. Duke Ellington, Bob Dylan, Charles Schultz and the remarkable Ella Fitzgerald to name a few were insightful looks at creative and original artists. Enter photographer to the stars Annie Liebovitz and this incestuous little valentine directed by her younger sister Barbara, Annie Leibovitz: Life through a Lens.

As "famous" as any living photographer Leibovitz since her Rolling Stone days has managed to have limitless access and entry to the world of celebrity populating her contrived canvases with star power and getting maximum front page exposure from the high end glossies Vogue and Vanity Fair. Totally artificial Leibovitz style resembles more Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue window dressing than master photography where Tussuad like wax figures are positioned and repositioned while Loebovitz with her entourage of assistants spend hours of discussion before manufacturing the decisive moment by committee. Results can range from provocative to pretentious. For better or worse her photographs of John and Yoko and painted and pregnant Demi Moore are iconic images of the times but they owe more to the fame of her subjects than the abilities of the artist.

Leibovitz's personal journey is also lacklustre since she reveals little of her relationships with Hunter Thompson and Susan Sontag and a bout with drug addiction is quickly and tidily dealt with while an inordinate amount of time is devoted to family photos and scenes around the pool. It's as if Sis' forgot she was making a PBS special and instead a family reunion DVD. There's a mountain of praise from celebrity subjects and her editors along with one lone voice of descent who cannot balance this love fest on her own.

American Masters does itself no favors when it purports to show the movers, shakers and originals of the art form and gives us the likes of a media darling hack with a minor in interior decorating while ignoring the monumental contributions of Robert Frank, Gary Winogrand, Lee Friedlander,Dorothea Lange, Ester Bubley, Walker Evans, Bernice Abbott so forth and so on. Guess you can see where my irritation stems from. When it comes to compelling imagery I'll take Arthur Fellig (Weegee)with his Speed Graphic focusing at ten feet F stop 16 any day over Loebovitz and her court of technicians,set designers and celebrity subjects tending to staged flights of fancy which lack the purity and power of gritty truth and the pursuit of the "fleeing reality". With Loebovitz it's more about who you hang out with than composition. Times change and I guess PBS going Entertainment Tonight is a sounder business move when it comes to DVD sales. Shame on me for thinking it was about art.

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