Sunday, January 04, 2009

Another Movie Recommendation: Annie Leibovitz




Thanks to my best friend Netflix, I watched another great documentary-- Annie Leibovitz: Through the Lens. It detailed photographer Annie Leibovitz's life at Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, as well as her personal and family life as well.

I find nothing can help improve my thinking than watching or reading about other artists. Maybe it's because it's so inspiring to watch how they came to be or to learn how they work. I took a break in the middle of this movie to walk my dog Buddy, and I found myself thinking about Crab Creek Review and some new ideas I had. Next, I was thinking about a poem that has just never quite reached the point I've wanted it to and by the time I returned home, I had revised the poem in my head and just needed to do fix it on paper.

There is no straight line from watching Annie's life to revising my poem, but there you have it. I found myself seeing the world a little differently after learning how a photographer sees it. I found myself thinking about the every day details around us and focusing in on them. My mind was still full of the documentary and the people she photographed--some of my favorites included John & Yoko, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Martin--and somehow, I felt it opened a new place in my brain.

The documentary had many of celebrities she has photographed talking about her as well as a look into her current life with small children to newer photoshoots and how they are handled. Of course, the old footage of her and others with Rolling Stone magazine was fantastic...and deeply sad in how she was with John Lennon that morning before he was murdered, photographing him (the famous now iconic image of a naked John curled up next to a fully clothed Yoko).

If you like documentaries about other artists, you'll like this. And if you're a fan of Annie L., you'll probably become more of a fan and see more of her humanness and not just a great artist. She has a work ethic we can all learn from.


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