Germany, 2020, 89 min, Dir. Gero von Boehm, Not Rated, German/French/English with English subtitles, Kino Lorber
"A lively and playful documentary portrait [of] the legendary transgressive photographer." —Owen Gleiberman, Variety
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One of the great masters of photography, Helmut Newton made a name for himself exploring the female form and his cult status continues long after his tragic death in a Los Angeles car crash in 2004. Newton worked around the globe, from Singapore to Australia to Paris to Los Angeles, but Weimar Germany was the visual hallmark of his work and his images were haunted by the past. Newton's unique and striking way of depicting women has always posed the question: did he treat his subjects as sexual objects? Through candid interviews with Grace Jones, Charlotte Rampling, Isabella Rossellini, Anna Wintour, Claudia Schiffer, Marianne Faithfull, Hanna Schygulla, Nadja Auermann, and Newton's wife June, Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful captures his legacy and seeks to answer difficult questions about the themes at the core of his life's work – capturing provocative, unconventional and, at times, subversive images of women. The documentary also features home movies, archival footage (included a pointed exchange with Susan Sontag over whether or not his images are misogynistic) and, of course, arresting Newton photographs to create this this wildly entertaining portrait of a controversial genius.
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