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What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann 1994

NR CC

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.

Starring:
Sally Mann
Runtime:
1 hour, 21 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Steven Cantor, Peter Spirer
Starring Sally Mann
Studio Zeitgeist Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Dennehey on April 1, 2008
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
Length: 1:38 Mins
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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Idyllic views of the Kentucky landscape and lovely insights into an artist's mind and family. I'm not sure I would be comfortable with sharing nude pictures of my children as a parent, given the world we live in. But in a better world there's nothing wrong with it. Her children seem well-grounded and happy, and the photos are certainly thought-provoking and beautiful. The artist is lucky (and so are we) that she has a supportive husband who also shares an artist's perspective, providing an environment in which she could create freely. It's also good that Mann was able to find an appropriate venue for her photographic exploration of death, which is an inevitability whether we like it or not.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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". "Blood Ties" concentrated on Sally's very controversial publication "Immediate Family", this is a much longer documentary being an hour and twenty minutes in length and is a far more comprehensive view of her life and work.
This documentary discusses several aspects of her life, from childhood to the time the documentary was filmed. Sally talks at length about her father and other things from her childhood which affected her, especially her view of art. She also describes how and when she met her husband.
A brief discussion of her series "Immediate Family" is included but is only a small portion of the overall film, which does include some information on what her now grown children are doing. (When "Blood Ties" was made they were still young children.) Sally discusses the morphing of her work from children to landscapes, which resulted in her "Deep South" series.
She goes on from there to explain how the death of an escaped convict on her property and other deaths got her started on a new project about decay. That is project for which this film is named. This film spends more time on her "What Remains" series than on her other works. Video of her walking through the Forensic Study Facility for the University of Tennessee and examining and photographing the bodies decomposing there is included in the film.
This is an amazing look into the life and work of Sally Mann. It does contain some nudity, both of her children and of her husband. This nudity in mainly in the display of the photographs she has taken of her husband and children.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I studied with Sally at the Maine Photo Workshop in the late 80's. I later visited and dined with her in Lexington. The film represented the Sally I knew and loved and gave a good description of her wet plate technique and creative process. I was happy to see her kids grown, I remember chatting with them at her show at Joe Tart Gallery in DC in roughly 1989. I was so sorry to hear of larry's illness. I remember him showing me some creative blacksmithing on my visit. I enjoy daily the photo I made of her lying on the Maine forest floor.
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Format: DVD
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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