Bert Stern Original Madman Trailer

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  1. I have to say having seen this film at last years Florida Film Festival and shooting and speaking with the director/co-star/girlfriend? Getting old as a Photographer seems to be true journey towards very small dwellings, broken marriages and a sense of sadness. Examples are William Eggleston in the Real World, Bill Cunningham New York, and this Bert Stern documentary. Each of these films shows rooms filled with mass chaos of prints,slides, negatives, etc. strewn everywhere. I wonder what documentaries on Steven Meisel,Patrick Demarchelier,Ellen Von Unwerth, Aruthor Elgort,Bruce Weber,Peter Lindberg,Albert Watson and Gilles Bensimon will be like in 20 years times. Or is it the fact that these photographers live like this that makes the films more marketable? Thoughts.

    • I think whenever you have a narrative about getting old there’s inevitably some sadness in it. The passing of time is always accompanied by many losses – loss of youth, success, love, loved ones, etc. – and if you show the past and present side by side it can seem a bit depressing.

      That being said, I haven’t seen the Stern film but I don’t think the other two films are comparable as far as the sadness goes. The Eggleston film is just a weird film about a very eccentric person, who, despite his eccentricity, has lived a very priviliged life in many ways. He still enjoys success and his wife hasn’t left him dispite his unfaithfulness. The only sad part is if as a viewer you idolize Eggleston (as most of us do) and then have to come to grips with the fact that he’s probably not the nicest human being.
      The Bill Cunningham film is the complete opposite. He’s obviously a very nice human being and so you can’t help but feel sad for him for his unrealized lovelife.
      But none of these two stories are in any way specific to photography. They’re just about getting old.

  2. I have from the very beginning (1976) been a huge fan and admirer of Bert Stern, bought his book early in my career, I was more into who he was, than the images he took (although they too were fantastic).. But his life is far more interesting, along with the giants of his time.

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