— Original Madman

A new documentary on the career and work of photography of Bert Stern, most famous for his portraits of Marilyn Monroe shortly before she died, ‘The Last Sitting‘, which caused huge controversy when published after Monroe’s death and featured many of the images she had censored (by defacing the original negatives) and clearly didn’t want published.

 

…many of those defaced images have become iconic in their own right.

 

The book was subsequently withdrawn – making it very collectable – and republished in a much slimmed down form.Here’s a synopsis of the film from IMDB:

 

In the unconventional documentary Becoming Bert Stern, the original mad-man photographer reveals himself for the first time. Berts meteoric career began as a mailroom-boy at Look Magazine, where he formed a close relationship with a young staff photographer, Stanley Kubrick. The launch of Sterns career and the Golden Age of Advertising would coincide; with Sterns Driest of the Dry campaign for Smirnoff. This ad would end up selling more vodka than Smirnoff dreamed, making America for the first time a vodka drinking country, and Stern a very successful photographer at the age of 25. Sought after by Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and the international fashion scene, Bert was at the heart of what George Lois would call the creative evolution. Along with Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Stern minted the concept photographer as a star in his own right. Photographing what seemed like all of worlds most beautiful women like Jean Shrimpton, Suzie Parker, Audrey Hepburn, Bridget Bardot, Twiggy, Liz Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe, the kid from Brooklyn was living a dream. Marrying the beautiful and internationally acclaimed ballet dancer, Allegra Kent, a Balanchine protégé, it seemed Bert Stern could do no wrong. Stern pulls no punches in revealing himself, his loves, and his fall from grace. Filmmaker Shannah Laumeister uncovers not only Stern, but also their unique long-term relationship. Becoming Bert Stern is a story of self-creation: rise, fall and reinvention. It explores creativity, celebrity, and desire through the eyes of a man who got everything he wanted.

 

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