American Masters (1985– )
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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, Susan Sontag, and includes snippets of Leibovitz's last visual ... See full synopsis »

Director:

Barbara Leibovitz
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Cast

Episode credited 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
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Storyline

This film traces the artistic self-realization of Annie Leibovitz, from childhood through the death of her beloved friend, Susan Sontag, and includes snippets of Leibovitz's last visual memories of Sontag. The film traces the arc of her photographic life, her aspirations to artistry, and the trajectory of her career through phases that included the tumultuous sixties in Berkeley, CA., touring with the Rolling Stones, a mentorship by Hunter S. Thompson, and, later, capturing the last candid moments of John Lennon's life with Yoko Ono. It closes with her reflections on life, children, and the the wake of her relationship with Sontag. The archival material presented here is invaluable for framing an understanding of this immeasurably influential visual artist.

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Engaging Documentary with a Mixed Message
14 July 2013 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee 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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