Bert Stern: Original Madman a film review
I met Bert Stern in NY in the late 60’s when I worked in a restaurant called Maxwell’s Plum on First Avenue and his studio was a few blocks away. Every model wanted to be photographed by him. He was the Picasso of the photography world and you would be noticed all over the world if he shot you. So I was very much looking forward to this film because I was in there when it was happening and seeing it on the screen, brought back all those fond memories. Shannah Laumeister reveals Bert Stern in the raw so nothing is held back. Like Picasso, he was this sexual magnet with woman because of his intimate exploration in photographing them. Wow! They were so lucky. Of course being an artist and a genius he was very involved in his work as was Picasso and his personal life suffered but there was always a woman there to fill in the slot when the moment arrived.
So on the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, the documentary on Bert and his life and his work reveals details on three generations of the world’s most beautiful women like Jean Shrimpton, Sophia Loren, Suzie Parker, Audrey Hepburn, Bridget Bardot, Kate Moss, Twiggy, Liz Taylor, Twiggy and Marilyn Monroe, and to bring it up to date his Lindsay Lohan’s photo session which was an attempt to recreate Marilyn.
This Brooklyn boy genius and his rise to fame is clearly documented from Madison Avenue to 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 originated the concept photographer as a star in his own right.
Also covered in this documentary are his deep, tempestuous personal relationships including a long, messy marriage to the great prima ballerina Allegra Kent, with whom he was obsessed and had two daughters, and who is also interviewed here.
Another addition is excerpts from Jazz on a Summer's Day, Stern's own documentary film from 1960.
So if you are a fan of the TV series Mad Man and would like to know what that world was really like and view the resurgence of the Picasso of the photography world ,catch this film.
Bert Stern: Original Mad Man is currently playing at the Landmark Nuarte Theater 11272 Santa Monica Blvd, West Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 473-8530West Los Angeles.