• Review: Harry Benson: Shoot First (2016)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Dec 18 18:49:14 2016
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    *** (out of ****)

    The word "iconic" gets bandied about a lot in Matthew Miele and Justin
    Bare's fond and fascinating doc "Harry Benson: Shoot First," but it's not without good reason. Harry Benson took some pretty iconic photographs.
    There's the one of John, Paul, George, and Ringo having a pillow fight in a Paris hotel room--perhaps you've seen that one. There's one of
    President-elect Donald Trump hugging a million dollars to his chest, and another with his million-dollar wife Melania's legs draped all over him. There's one of Amy Winehouse striking a pose in a leopard-print top, the Clintons sharing an intimate moment (Bill's lounging in a hammock), and
    model Kate Moss, wearing little more than a Marie Antoinette-styled hat by Vivienne Westwood. "Harry Benson: Shoot First" is, not surprisingly, awash with the celebrated photojournalist's archetypal images and they showcase
    just how versatile the 87-year-old Scotsman is, whether capturing Judy
    Garland at her quintessential best, Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch,
    or Greta Garbo wanting to be alone (she failed). Celebrities, presidents, couples, recluses--Benson photographed them all. Not only was he present
    at some significant moments in history--Bobby Kennedy's assassination,
    Richard Nixon's resignation, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s March
    Against Fear in Mississippi in 1966 to name a few--but he captured many of
    them on film, and expertly so. Similarly, this documentary, with
    interviews from a rich variety of media insiders, does an expert job of
    giving us an intimate look at a consummate professional with a personal
    style that brought out the very best in his subjects.

    David N. Butterworth

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