Bert Stern was one of the best known and respected American photographers of the 1960s. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Stern taught himself to take pictures in his youth and became an assistant to the art director of Look Magazine while still a teenager. Stern went on to become art director at Mayfair Magazine before launching a successful career as a commercial photographer, contributing a new intelligence and sophistication to the look of American advertising. Stern also gained a reputation for his imaginative fashion photography and celebrity portraits, including Marilyn Monroe's last photo session in 1962. However, along with Stern's success came personal troubles, including bouts with drug use and a brief stay in a mental hospital, before he once again rose to the top of his field. Shannah Laumeister, a filmmaker and close friend of Stern, offers an intimate look at his life and his art in the documentary Becoming Bert Stern, which features interviews with his friends, family and collaborators, as well as Stern himself.
by Mark Deming synopsis