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What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann (2005)

Sally Mann , Steven Cantor  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sally Mann
  • Directors: Steven Cantor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013UQUQE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,380 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Eight deleted scenes
  • Mann's lecture excerpts from a 2003 Photojournalism Conference
  • "Blood Ties" --shot during the creation of Sally Mann's "Immediate Family" series
  • Photos from Mann's "Deep South"

Editorial Reviews


"One of the most exquisitely intimate portraits not only of an artist's process, but also of a marriage and a life." --The New York Times

"The ordinary images Cantor's camera captures are transmuted into something extraordinary by Mann's." --Los Angeles Times

"A moving, sensitive portrait... Mann's strong family life and the gorgeous setting of her home in the American South are enviable, but we also witness the ruthlessness and moral enquiry needed to create lasting art." --NOW Magazine

Product Description

As one of the world's preeminent photographers, Sally Mann creates artwork that challenges viewers' values and moral attitudes. Described by Time magazine as "America's greatest photographer," she first came to international prominence in 1992 with Immediate Family, a series of complex and enigmatic pictures of her three children. What Remains--Mann's recent series on the myriad aspects of death and decay--is the subject of this eponymously titled documentary.

Filmed at her Virginia farm, Mann is surrounded by her husband and now-grown children, and her willingness to reveal her artistic process allows the viewer to gain exclusive entrance to her world. Never one to compromise, she reflects on her own personal feelings about mortality as she continues to examine the boundaries of contemporary art. Spanning five years, What Remains contains unbridled access to the many stages of Mann's work, and is a rare glimpse of an eloquent and brilliant artist.

- New anamorphic master, enhanced for widescreen televisions
- Director Steven Cantor's 1994 Oscar-nominated documentary short Blood Ties, shot during the creation of Sally Mann's Immediate Family series
- Photos from Mann's Deep South, Immediate Family and What Remains series
- Eight deleted scenes
- Mann's lecture excerpts from a 2003 Copenhagen Photojournalism Conference
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful documentary! April 1, 2008
I saw this documentary at the Look Photo Festival in Virginia last June and it was incredible. It shed so much light on her thought process and ideas and even showed footage of her actually taking some of her most famed photographs. In my humble opinion, this film is definitely worth the price, if not more!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely beautiful film June 21, 2008
The life and work and personality and emotions of Sally Mann are beautifully filmed and evoked, a must to understand her complex, rich, intense personality, her relationship with her children and particularly her husband is deeply touching. Some scenes when she is photographing dead bodies for her show and book What Remains are hard to cope with, but resonate in her artistic , so Southern soul in mixing life and death and love and memory so intensely
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and illuminating look at Sally Mann June 17, 2008
Length: 1:41 Mins
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars untittled April 16, 2009
Sally Mann is one of the most important photographers of our time, and this dvd is essential to understanding her work as an artist. This dvd deserves 6 stars because in the extras it includes the 30 minute oscar nominated documentary "Blood Ties" that aired on HBO in the early 90's during the "Immediate Family" photos. As well as the new full length doc that takes you through the "What Remains" era and how that concept unfolded from her husbands illness, into the death of her dog, into the suicide of a prisoner on her farm, into the civil war landscapes, into the photos of decaying bodies, into the photos of her children. She really challenges all of our concepts and fears of the subject of death and breaks it down to a beautiful idea of a natural process. I really can't say enough about how important her work is, but this dvd will. All i can say is this is worth your time and money.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and intimate. June 11, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this documentary when it premiered at Hot Docs in 2006, and have been waiting since then for its DVD release. As a documentary producer myself, it inspired me to delve into a project that would reveal the intimate and personal details of the life of an artist. I found it compelling, funny at times, sad, and very informative of Sally Mann's life and creative process.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great on Many Levels February 20, 2010
If you want to learn more about Sally Mann as a photographer, this is great. If you want to see how people struggle with the creative process, this is a great film. If you want to be inspired with how some people deal with adversity and come back even stronger, or how life events shape one's art, you will also appreciate it. For me personally, what I take away from the film is how when scary or bad things happen to most people, they avert, avoid, bury, and forget. The real artist keeps looking, never blinking, and really examines everything, even death, until they find or make something truly profound.

I have my photo students watch this, and at first they are creeped out. Eventually they come around and love it too. Every time I watch it, I see something else that the film maker did, subtle but great transitions and cuts that add layers of meaning. Totally worth buying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! March 14, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I think What Remains is a great documentary for any photographer to watch, but more than that any artist to watch. To see her way of life and her process of thought is wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The artistic process, distilled January 17, 2011
Easily one of the best documentaries on photography and the artistic process that I've seen. This film is interesting to me in so many ways. Technically, it's amazing to see Sally work with the 8x10, especially in the field with wet plates. As a photographer, I'm inspired to see the marriage of technical skill and personal vision that we all of us strive to achieve, but few of us do. As an artist, it's incredible to see the struggle that Sally goes through to express her view of the world... moments of self doubt, failure, and triumph. This is the life of one of the best photographers of the 20th century, beautifully and shamelessly captured. Buy it, watch it, learn. I did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A true inspiration
wonderful, very real, didn't want this to end. was a joy and inspiration to watch.
got a look into the daily life of Sally Mann, in-depth look at her work, and got to meet... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Sara
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorite documentaries.
Published 2 months ago by Me
5.0 out of 5 stars Sally Mann student from Maine Photo wrkshp
I studied with Sally at the Maine Photo Workshop in the late 80's. I later visited and dined with her in Lexington. Read more
Published 3 months ago by John R. Aldridge
4.0 out of 5 stars What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann
Interesting to see how an artist takes photos. Great to see someone using 100 yr old cameras to get such interesting subject matter. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing in-depth look at Sally's life and the versatility of her work
This is the second documentary Steven Cantor made on Sally Mann. The first was a 30 minute film titled "Blood Ties: The Life and work of Sally Mann". Read more
Published 6 months ago by John Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool beans
One of very few documentaries I've ever watched for school and enjoyed. One of very few documentaries I've enjoyed, for that matter...
Published 8 months ago by Panda
5.0 out of 5 stars Candid look into the world of Sally Mann
I love Sally Mann. This documentary is interesting because it starts off almost like a biography, but then it takes a turn in showing the recent ups and downs of her career. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Awakening April
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann
I highly recommend this to photographers and alike. Sally Mann is wonderful and her work has so much feeling. Not just a picture. I look up to her and she is aspiring. Read more
Published 10 months ago by D. Angell
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Favorites!!
Sally Mann never fails to amaze me, and this film just adds to that! It not only touches on her works in "What Remains" but also covers her previous works which is nice. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Alysia Hagert
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!
Great insight into the mind and process of one of our greatest photographic artists. A testament to loving your own environment and being inspired by what's around you.
Published 18 months ago by Gregory f Williams
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