Critic Reviews



Based on 8 critic reviews provided by
An effusive, sad, visually gorgeous, and illuminating portrait of the artist.
Village Voice
Bert Stern: Original Madman is a sometimes uncomfortably intimate portrait of a man who seems unsure if he has a place left in the culture he helped to shape.
No matter how it shakes out, 'Mad Man' will never be more than an interesting curio that provides a basic overview of why Stern matters. But for the rest of us, the images themselves will be the greatest evidence on their own of Stern's innovation in photography, fashion and advertising.
Despite its admittedly intriguing parts, the film ultimately feels too diffuse and self-indulgent to represent a truly incisive portrait of its subject.
Slant Magazine
Rote, rushed, and utterly uninterested in the power of Stern as an innovator of image, making it effectively the opposite of the output of the artist it attempts to document.
An unappealing jumble of sex, regret and hero worship, “Bert Stern” is an odd tribute to brilliance muffled by lust.
Though the photographs are memorable, the photographer is not.
The film does offer some revealing anecdotes about his infamous Monroe sessions, but mostly, it simply slouches from one sensationalistic, salacious bit to the next, sans any historical context. Worse, filmmaker Shannah Laumeister continually rhapsodizes on-camera about her own “soul mate” relationship with the subject—leaving viewers feeling mad as hell.

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