The Myth of Guy Bourdin Gets Told

Posted by David Ozanich — 24 Mar 2011


It's not just Bill Cunningham who's getting the documentary treatment these days. The Guardian takes a look at the new film "When the Sky Fell Down: The Myth of Guy Bourdin" which examines the rough-and-tumble career of the edgy fashion photographer:

Few photographers could make French, Italian, American and British Vogue come flocking two decades after their death. Yet along with Annie Leibovitz, David Bailey and David Puttnam, the creative directors of those magazines appear in a documentary that exalts the photographer in question, Guy Bourdin, as one of the most daring visual artists of the 20th century.


Though he died in relative obscurity, unflattering stories came to light in 2003 when the V&A ran a retrospective of his work. Bourdin was accused of being cruel to his models, whom he photographed in highly stylised, surreal scenarios: vomiting up nail varnish, lying apparently dead in immaculate shoes. "I never saw him being cruel," says Brandt. "Guy would push his models, but only to get his vision recorded on celluloid."

Bourdin is said to have arrived on the back of a camel to the offices of French Vogue and once attempted to dye the sea a deep-blue in the days before Photoshop. The film is set to screen in Cannes during this year's festival. Below is the trailer (possibly NSFW due to some exposed breasts):

Guy Bourdin photo via.

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