Sunday, February 15, 2009

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

Perhaps on par with winning an Oscar or Emmy or Golden Globe, one of the surest symbols of "making it" is being photographed by Annie Leibovitz. As the famous song by Dr. Hook attests:

But the thrill we've never known
Is the thrill that'll get you when you get your picture

On the cover of the Rolling Stone...

The achievements of Annie Leibovitz include many covers for Rolling Stone--and Vanity Fair and Vogue. Her career has spanned 40 years and her photos of John Lennon and Yoko Ono (taken hours before his murder), a very pregnant Demi Moore, Patti Smith and Whoopi Goldberg (to name just a few...) have transcended the celebrity status of the subjects themselves to become iconic images.

Who better to document Leibovitz's life and career than her sister Barbara? Interspersing archival footage with that of present day clips of Leibovitz in action--as well as numerous interviews with colleagues and photo subjects (including Tina Brown, Anna Wintour, Hillary Clinton, Yoko Ono, Demi Moore and Arnold Schwarzenegger), the film explores the process and passion of one of the world's most celebrated and well-known photographers.

The DVD contains additional interviews discussing the stories behind some of those famous photos, Annie's process and work ethic, and her work in the areas of commercial, fashion and celebrity photography. If you've ever leafed through her self-titled book of photos (I own it!), the documentary is like the book come to life.

In answer to her sister's query of "What is a photographer's life?," Leibovitz responds, "It's just a life...looking through a lens." Check out the DVD to get a peek through the lens of Leibovitz's life and work.

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