Bert Stern: Original Mad Man

Trick photography. First, because it's the story of a man who photographed his tricks: Bert Stern, lenser, lover, lothario. The man is undeniably gifted, and apparently, undeniable in other ways as well — even in his eighties, he casts a spell over a trio of sweetish, youngish things (two of whom are twins). But this portrait, which seeks to follow the trend of pretending to document a career while actually investigating the man, reeks of dishonesty. Stern comes off self-involved to the point of obliviousness, but his participation in the project betrays a canny awareness of his own image. He's not nearly as afraid of the camera as he pretends to be. There are lots of pretty women to look at — Stern famously photographed Marilyn Monroe in the nude shortly before her untimely death — but they can't hope to obscure the ugliness at the story's heart. 2011.

0.0 stars

— Matthew Lickona

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