IMDb > "Imagine" Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2008)

"Imagine" Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2008)

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View company contact information for Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
28 February 2008 (Season 11, Episode 3)
Barbara Leibovitz's intimate biography of her sister the photographer Annie Leibovitz. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A work not fully thought through... See more (1 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)
Alan Yentob ... Himself - Presenter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Paula Abdul ... Herself (archive footage)
Ruth Ansel ... Herself

Mikhail Baryshnikov ... Himself

Tina Brown ... Herself

Rosanne Cash ... Herself

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

George Clooney ... Himself
James Danziger ... Himself

Robert Downey Jr. ... Himself

Kirsten Dunst ... Herself
Bea Feitler ... Herself (archive footage)
Vicki Goldberg ... Herself

Whoopi Goldberg ... Herself
Mark Holborn
Robert Hughes ... Himself

Mick Jagger ... Himself

Keira Knightley ... Herself
Susan Leibovitz Steinman ... Herself

Annie Leibovitz ... Herself
Barbara Leibovitz ... Herself
Howard Leibovitz ... Himself (archive footage)
Marilyn Edith Leibovitz ... Herself
Paula Leibovitz ... Herself (archive footage)
Philip Leibovitz ... Himself (archive footage)
Sam Leibovitz ... Himself (archive footage)
Sarah Leibovitz ... Herself

John Lennon ... Himself (archive footage)

Bette Midler ... Herself
Dave Monsees ... Himself (archive footage)

Demi Moore ... Herself
Mark Morris ... Himself

Yoko Ono ... Herself
Robert Pledge ... Himself

Keith Richards ... Himself

Julia Roberts ... Herself

Chris Rock ... Himself

Jane Sarkin ... Herself

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

Gloria Steinem ... Herself

Jann Wenner ... Himself
Robert Wilson ... Stage Director

Anna Wintour ... Herself

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
Janet Lee .... executive producer: BBC
Barbara Leibovitz .... producer
Jessica Levin .... producer (as Jessica Cohen)
Clare Lockhart .... producer: BBC
Alan Yentob .... executive producer: BBC
Original Music by
Gaili Schoen 
Cinematography by
Jaime Hellman (director of photography)
Barbara Leibovitz (director of photography)
Ed Marritz (director of photography)
Ian Vollmer (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Kristen Huntley 
Jed Parker 
Sound Department
Ed Campbell .... sound mixer
Editorial Department
Enda Mullen .... editor: BBC
Gary VandenBergh .... on-line editor
Music Department
James Newton Howard .... score producer

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Produced by
Vanessa Frances .... producer
Paul Tickell .... producer
Film Editing by
Andy Matthews 
Production CompaniesSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Did You Know?

A version of this film appeared previously on the US series 'American Masters' (PBS)See more »


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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A work not fully thought through..., 8 August 2008
Author: Cruiz Dwyer ( from South Africa

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The simple truth of the matter is that the name Annie Leibovitz echoes through popular culture, so much so that it was only a matter of time until a documentary was published on her in some form. Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens, just so happens to be the title of a documentary undertaking and whether you are a fan of Leibovitz or not, this film is worth a look.

The documentary is structured in four ways: there are the candid interview segments, but these are infused within footage of present commissioned work by Leibovitz, her meeting with a publisher, and her history. This all sounds rather overwhelming, but in reality, it proves a simple integration which is easy for the audience. This complex structure make the documentary far more interesting to watch then it perhaps is. It doesn't follow in a linear pattern, moving from past story to current work, to interviews and so forth, and the director, Barbara Leibovitz, must be commended for making the entire experience gel together. However, that doesn't stop the documentary having a very outdated feel, with the camera used, at last for modern footage, seeming somewhat low key. It is a problem, but a minor one in the entirety of the film.

The film is more geared towards those who know little about Annie Leibovitz, as the information presented does seem to be the sort which is knowable by anyone who has followed her career, or were diligent enough to search for information about her. Yet the film does work as a collective, allowing all the integral information about her life to be condensed. And what is presented is interesting nonetheless, such as Leibovitz early days traveling with the Rolling Stones, and how she developed into a more mature photographer after various influences in her life. It all makes for a good story of self-discovery, and really puts her later work, such as the Miley Cyrus incident, into perspective.

That aside, the documentary could have been better. It's 86 minute runtime really needed to be longer so as to flesh out what is presented. Considering that Leibovtiz is one of the most celebrated photographers of our time, its a pity to see so little in terms of celebrity participation in regards to interviews. The documentary is directed and written by Leibovitz's sister, and so the overall direction is questionable. This facet could be seen to make for a more personal experience, but Barbara Leibovitz comes across as far too distant, and as such, the issue of subjectivity is still apparent. It is as if Barbara didn't wish to seem biased and so detached herself from the subject, but doing so doesn't make her come across as objective either. It's a very tricky sort of situation, but one that would have been best solved by allowing herself to be more part of the documentary.

There are a few blasphemous terms but besides that, the only other objectionable content comes in the form of an array nude pictures.

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens is an interesting documentary that deserves a watch, but if one were not interested in any of the subject matter, its very difficult to convince them to try this out. Sadly the film suffers from being underexposed, and not elaborate enough. There's not enough celebrity support, not enough information, not enough runtime. For a photographer with the caliber of Annie Leibovitz's, this documentary is a bit of a shame.

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