“He was a little bit pervert but so am I, so it’s ok,” said Grace Jones in the Helmut Newton documentary titled Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful. Through candid interviews with actress Isabella Rossellini, fashion editor extraordinaire Anna Wintour, supermodel Claudia Schiffer and 1970s’ photographer and model Alice Springs to name a few, viewers are given an intimate insight into the late photographer’s legacy and career, which spanned over five decades.
Newton is often regarded as one of the world’s prolific image makers and genuine visionary. His work brought him both fame and notoriety, and his works are still a major influence on modern photography and visual art. Newton would often come into hot water for his depiction of women, which often posed the question of whether he empowered or objectified them as sexual objects.
Perhaps one of Newton’s most iconic work was the campaign that he shot for Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking pants suit, on the streets of Paris in 1975 for a fashion magazine. The now legendary outfit was part of the Pop Art collection (circa 1966), and was worn by French actress Catherine Deneuve as a controversial statement of femininity that shook the fashion industry. With the release of the documentary now available to a younger generation of fashion enthusiasts, it would be interesting to see the works of Newton through the eyes of a modern viewer.
Watch the documentary’s trailer here:
The film, directed by Gero von Boehm, gives insight into Newton life with archival footage, home movies and of course, iconic Newton photographs. This year would have marked the German-Australian’s 100th birthday.
Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful’s will have its virtual theatrical release on July 24 (Friday) on KinoNow.com.