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Lee Miller: Through the Mirror

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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(Dec 26, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Lee Miller, a photographer, Vogue model, and muse to notorious artist Man Ray, lived an exceptionally rich, full life almost like a character from a movie. Inspired by the artist s community in Montparnasse in the 1930s, she made a name for herself as a post surrealist photographer and a war correspondent accomplishments much different from those of other Vogue models. Called the most beautiful woman of her time, Miller claimed never to have wasted a moment of her life.
Filmmaker Sylvain Roumette skillfully brings this exceptional woman to life through this fascinating documentary. Two men photographer David Scherman and Miller s own son, Anthony Penrose, serve as guides to the remarkable life of this true adventuress.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: Sylvain Roumette
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: ARTE
  • DVD Release Date: December 26, 2007
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WC8CMO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,146 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Format: DVD
Elizabeth (Lee) Miller (1907-1977) achieved fame in front of and behind the camera as a leading fashion model and muse to famous artists in the 20s and 30s, including Man Ray, and as a fashion and news photographer. This brief documentary follows her life and career through photos, films she appeared in, and interviews with people who knew her, including photographer David Sherman and her son Tony -- who grew up to become a ... dairy farmer, despite having Lee and the British surrealist painter Ronald Penrose for parents!

Certainly worth watching for a rare glimpse at a woman who was both beautiful and talented -- though despite all her success she seems to have felt that no one really loved her. It is not made clear why she felt that way or how exactly she wanted to be loved. Perhaps insights along those lines are buried in the archive her son has assembled. I would recommend a quick look at the Wikipedia entry under her name, where the reader will learn some suprising facts left out of this documentary.
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Format: DVD
I saw this via a certain red envelope service, on a whim. I saw "Lee" in the title and assumed it would be about a male photographer. Instead, it's about a female Lee. She was multi-talented, working as a model, photojournalist, gallery owner, inter alia. The work is not static: it moves from the whimsical 20s to the sadness of World War II. (Surprisingly, little is said about the dark days of the Depression Era.) I don't know how important Ms. Miller was to history, but if you think of her in the light of Marilyn Monroe or Madonna, or many pretty women who accomplish much in their lives, then you'll find yourself interested.

The work only has three interviewees: Lee's son, his nanny, and Lee's friend/(lover?). I wonder if this is a self-financed or promoted work. Its lack of interviewees points to a low budget, but the photos and old newsreel clips may suggest something of a higher quality. It was bizarre to see a man refer to his mother by her first name and not as "Mom." However, he concludes by saying she wasn't much of an attentive mother. Perhaps this could explain his indifference in seeing so many nude photos of Ms. Miller.

This is a European work that gives you several language options that you wouldn't find on most American DVDs. Still, an unseen, French interviewer asks the questions and many of the native English speakers can't decipher what he's saying. My guess is that most of us Americans won't understand him either. Surely they could have gotten a native English speaker to ask the questions and then they could have dubbed and had subtitles to their hearts' content.

Wearing a feminist cap may make you have trouble with the work. The work starts with a lot of Ms. Miller's private parts.
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