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Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful

(Rated M)

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“Men are just accessories, like hats and gloves”

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Overview

Helmut Newton. The name conjures images of glamorous celebrity portraits, polished Vogue spreads and an obsession with the female form. A provocative and enormously successful photographer who bridged the gap between art and commerce, Helmut Newton’s career spanned many decades, and took him all over the world. In this entertaining and enlightening documentary, we see candid interviews with his famous subjects and supporters including Grace Jones, Charlotte Rampling, Isabella Rossellini, Claudia Schiffer and Anna Wintour, as well as a wealth of archival interviews, home movies and photographs from the late Newton himself. Throughout the film, the question is posed: did Newton empower his subjects, or treat them as sexual objects?

“Unexpectedly moving. A nostalgic time capsule of an art-world rebel”
— IndieWire
“An engaging and surprisingly playful documentary about the man who was arguably the most transgressive photographer to emerge from the 1960s and ‘70s”
— Variety
“Enlightening and provocative”
— RogerEbert.com

Why You Should See This Film

A fascinating portrait of one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful is both a visual and intellectual pleasure. Delving into his Berlin-born Jewish roots, his unexpected stint in Australia during WWII, and his prolific career, the film considers the underlying impulses behind Newton’s eye-catching work. Boundary-pushing or just plain perverse? You be the judge.

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  • Year: 2020
  • Rating: M
  • Director: Gero von Boehm
  • Cast: Helmut Newton, Anna Wintour, Grace Jones, Isabella Rossellini
  • Duration: 93 minutes
  • Language: English, German with English subtitles
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