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Picture Me: A Model's Diary

4.0 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

revealing and engaging --Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

fascinating --Elizabeth Engell, Allure.com

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

Special Features

None.

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.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00467QGTW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,820 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R S Cobblestone VINE VOICE on February 6, 2011
Format: DVD
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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This documentary is a touching personal account of Sara Ziff, one of the 'It' girls in the modeling world. She and her boyfriend Ole take a video camera behind the scenes to go places most have never been. They interview famous fashion designers, photographers, make-up persons and her model friends in their day to day life. Nothing is stoic nor prepared, just off-the-cuff conversation and time out on the town. Before you may get the idea that this is some sort of glamour rave, stop short; this is the reality of a young woman's life.

Sara is discovered at the tender age of 16. She finishes high school, while her friends go off to college Sara chooses a "different path". She begins modeling at eighteen until the approximate age of twenty-four. For many women this may seem like a life of the best of all situations while Sara's account is not of the stereotypical Supermodel, it is completely her own. In the long haul, her job is one of work, money, glamour, exhaustion, crying jags, hurried days and indecision.

This is not an 'Oh poor me' rant, Sara is at the top of her game while she makes this testimonial. She adds a generous view of her young model friend's experiences which attest to a world of compromise, chasing the big money and being too old at the young ages of twenty to twenty-four. In this world, with the "new crop" of models pouring in at the childhood ages of twelve to sixteen, their years are beginning to be too many and they're being considered as too old now for advertisement.

Sara Ziff is a brave, sweet and quite an intelligent woman throughout along with being highly favored in a world of seemingly neverending up and coming models.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: Amazon 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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