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Darkness and Light [VHS] (1996)

Richard Avedon , John Lahr , Helen Whitney  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $29.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Avedon, John Lahr, Mike Nichols
  • Directors: Helen Whitney
  • Writers: Helen Whitney
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: December 2, 1997
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780019512
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Vividly portrayed in this American Masters Special, photographer Richard Avedon shoots for two different worlds. Primarily, he is a fashion photographer, having worked for various magazines for more than 50 years. Of particular note is the description of photographing Natassja Kinski, a shoot that took two hours of her lying naked on a cement floor as they tried to coax a snake up her body. As a fashion photographer, Avedon became known for his sense of movement and the energy he captured in each image; he gets exquisite models to leap, move, and flip their hair. His second, and perhaps lesser-known, body of work is art photography, including portraits of the famous and the unknown, with a signature style of photographing his sitters on a white background with no props. This documentary ably captures the tension between these two directions in his work by overlaying the positive and negative viewpoints about his photography in a collage of voiceovers. We learn how Avedon views his role as a photographer, and that for him the end result captures "the death of the moment." Also included are the controversial images of his dying father. This program aptly depicts this highly creative man exposed through his work as vulnerable, obsessed, and a perfectionist. This 81-minute-long program will interest a broad audience, from those interested in fashion, people of our times, the history of the 20th century, artists and art historians, and photography in general. --Anne Barclay Morgan

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational "must see" for any person who breaths!! September 9, 1999
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This moving work is one of the most inspirational profiles for any creative person to review. Whether one creates in the arts or in business, one's creative energy will get an extra boost from this compassionate film.
Avedon is very expressive; giving the viewer insight to his creative (thought) process and his control. His body of work is a fascinating documentation of our post WWII culture. His portraits are penetrating. His interpretations of our cultures style are amazing. His history is storybook, and his "inner-light" is therapeutic.
I regret the producers do not get proper billing on this page. They document this great American artist with the grace, dignity and interest, that rivals what this artist creates in his camera. We are blessed to have this work produced during this time of the subject's life.
You will watch this many, many times, and perhaps, share with friends that you care about!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary document on an extraordinary photographer November 10, 2000
A must have video document that gives deeper insights into the life and career one of the worlds best portrait photographers ever. There is a lot more to discover than the glamourous photos that made Richard Avedon famous around the world. This video also tells a lot about himself and how he took many of his most famous shots. A must have for everyone interested in photography, particularly in portrait photography.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love real photography get this July 31, 2002
That's all I have to say. if you love photography you need to own this tape.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars avedon's style now being copied June 18, 2011
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it is a fairly decent length of video. avedon's style is basically black and white for portraiture and there is no big secret to his style because all you have to do is bracket your shots then choose which one attracts you more then frame it, that's all. i was impressed only of his fashion photography wherein he "invented" the "action" photography which he pioneered which is being copied nowadays by fashion photographers. but currently i think annie liebowitz is giving avedon a run for his creativity. one of avedon's great photographs i admired was that of the beatles psychedelic portrait, that is awesome. i did not like avedon's taking photos of his dying father, i do not like remembering my dying father in photographs, i would prefer remembering him in happier times.
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