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Picture Me: A Model's Diary (2010)

Sara Ziff , Sara Ziff , Ole Schell  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sara Ziff
  • Directors: Sara Ziff, Ole Schell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00467QGTW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


revealing and engaging --Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

fascinating --Elizabeth Engell,

absorbing...brave, affecting --David Noh, Film Journal International

Product Description

A raw and personal video diary, charts model Sara Ziff s rise from fresh face to one that adorns billboards and magazines around the world. Ziff and filmmaker, Ole Schell, co-direct the documentary, lifting the veil on the glamorous world of high fashion modeling, from photo shoots with celebrated photographers to runway shows in New York, Milan, and Paris. The film considers the ever increasing demand for adolescent models, the pressure to stay thin, sexual harassment and drug use. This intimate account features in-depth interviews with noted photographers and designers, and showcases personal footage shot by the models themselves, giving voice to those who are often seen, but rarely heard. With appearances by models Missy Rayder, Cameron Russell, Diana Dondoe, and Caitriona Balfe, photographers Gilles Bensimon and Sam Haskins, designers Nicole Miller, Hussein Chalayan, and others.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Being a supermodel is not always glamorous... February 6, 2011
Sara Ziff chronicles her rise to modeling fame in Picture Me: A Model's Diary, starting at 18. Her then (current?) boyfriend Ole Schell started documenting her modeling efforts - the casting, the shows, the travel, and the parties - and five years later, it really became an extraordinary and intimate glimpse into the world of supermodels.

It is exactly Ziff's reputation as a successful model that gets other models to open up and share their experiences, about the stress and strain, about drug use and exploitation, about the pressure to be thin, and about life after modeling.

Two issues in particular really jumped out. First, these supermodels are really quite ordinary people when they are not working. Their hair is messed up, their skin is blotchy, they have good days and bad days, and they worry about their future. Second, you get a hint of a dark underbelly of the modeling world. These include the leeches that try to get photos of these models as they are changing, the alcohol and drug use associated with the parties and stress, constant smoking, the financial arrangements with their agencies, and the knowledge that, when they are replaced by younger, thinner models (as they all will be), their lack of an education means they will have to find a sugar daddy in order to maintain their way of life. In fact, you get hints throughout that things may be even worse than the film notes. What has been left out, that we can't be told until Ziff retires completely from this industry?

But how do you explain all this to a 14 or 16 year old from Russia, picked to be the next supermodel?

Tragic, enlightening, informative, and titillating... expect all of this from Picture Me: A Model's Diary, by Sara Ziff.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars refreshing contrast to the "Top Model" January 19, 2011
By A.G.M.
As a very refreshing contrast to the "Top Model" world seen in magazines and TV, Picture Me shows a behind the scenes view of the glamor and grit of modeling from an outsider's perspective. I love the battle between real life and fantasy and the sometimes very blurry line within. Ole Schell's film style is approachable and you feel like you are hanging out with them. Sara Ziff is captivating and intelligent in her journey. It is nice to see that real people exist inside those clothes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!!!!! January 21, 2011
This was an awesome documentary. I am a photographer that works in the industry. This documentary shows the not always "glamourous" side of the industry.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Model's (real) Life June 13, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Picture Me is an entertaining look into the modeling industry; happily, it was NOT made by anyone named Banks or Klum. Sara Ziff is a funny, intelligent young woman. I enjoyed meeting her and her friends. The child-like graphics and just-messing-around style let the viewer know that Ziff and her boyfriend are aware they are not remaking Citizen Kane. Yet, they manage to get interviews with some big name designers and photographers - a tribute, I think, to Sara's reputation. The film covers an amazing number of issues - perhaps too many. Weight, age, and sexual harassment are crammed into pretty much one segment, making the treatment a bit superficial. However, no one can doubt that Ziff and her friends are sincere in their wish to do something more with their lives than "walk on a platform."

Ziff's comment about being a(paraphrasing)"prop" in someone else's story, made me a little sad. She was far more than that to her family, fellow models, and fans. Now, perhaps some of the young girls who said "I want to model like Sara," are saying "I want to get into Columbia like Sara."

Marring the film are some gratuitous boob shots of Ziff in the bathtub, as she sobs from exhaustion. The camera keeps lowering from her face to her chest. That bugged me a lot, actually. Why the boyfriend would even shoot it is beyond me, as is the decision to keep it in the finished product.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you know an aspiring model, ARE an aspiring model or have one in the family, this is a "must see" documentary. But it is also engaging enough to be of interest to anyone who likes a good documentary. Focusing on Sara Ziff, the movie follows her career as a model, including both the best and worst moments. For those who see modeling as pure glamour, fame and fun, this will definitely dispel those myths. Yes, Sara has plenty of exciting times and is thrilled to be meeting top designers and to walk the runways in major fashion shows. She is in awe when she opens a check for $80,000 and another for well over $100,000.

The documentary not only focuses on Sara but also includes interviews with other models. They discuss seamier and more disturbing aspects of modeling, including unethical photographers and the constant pressure to be young and thin. Women who are still young, only 20 or 22 years old, are made to feel "old" when competing against 14 and 16 year olds.

Then there is the money. Some of the young women who come from Europe are honest about their ambitions - yes, they enjoy the attention but they are also making more money than they could possibly achieve otherwise. Modeling may be their only hope of earning enough for an education and it also helps them support their families back in Europe.

Of course, Sara Ziff is at the heart of this documentary and her evolution is fascinating to watch. At times, she bursts into tears after days and weeks with little to no sleep. She becomes run down and her skin breaks out (make-up artists work around that as do hair stylists, camouflaging signs of wear and tear). Sara's life is often a staggering, disconcerting whirlwind of travel, meetings with designers and rehearsals for shows. She has little down time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The subject here is probably the most self-involved and unlikeable ...
The subject here is probably the most self-involved and unlikeable model, even by model's standards, I have had the displeasure of hearing from. Read more
Published 2 months ago by t belden
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Not your usual vapid model bio. Sara's a wonderful set of eyes into a world not well understood by those of us on the outside. Read more
Published 5 months ago by E.P.
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Finish It
Sorry, the ratings do not allow for someone not finishing the film that is started so I just assign a one-star in that case.
Published 6 months ago by Dr. F. Sisti
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to pass the time
Moderately interesting take on modeling and the pitfalls that go along with it. Nothing too surprising; I appreciated the behind the scenes commentary.
Published 6 months ago by Bgirl
2.0 out of 5 stars Beauty Stressed???? I'm NOT buying this....
Give me a break. A selected representative of the 'beauty' industry complains of their (her) treatment and experiences of stress while submitting to photo shoots, yet cashes a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside look into the modeling world
I thought this was a great documentary providing an inside look into the world of modeling. Lots of pros and cons. Very interesting.
Published 7 months ago by WindowShopper
1.0 out of 5 stars reMOVE
This thing keeps coming up as a recommendation..trying to remove it....not sure how...ZERO INTERESTED IN WATCHING THIS, STOP RECOMMENDING TO ME
Published 7 months ago by Nick Name
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the watch!
This documentary felt very real, very much crafted and thought about -- not just flash + sound bytes or pretty pictures. I found the main character, Sara, so likable/ relatable! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ginger Barry Brandt
4.0 out of 5 stars A Close to Real Perspective
It is really good-it gives you a fairly look into the model world-with a decent slice of the negative aspects of that life as well. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Deanna Zouari
3.0 out of 5 stars Good flick for modeling
Interesting if you're into the model world. But nothing profound. I enjoyed it. Learned some things I didn't know prior to watching.
Published 8 months ago by getupandmove
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