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Posted on Thursday 5/01/2012 January, 2012 by Francesca Rudkin
Well, here we go again! Another year has arrived and this January Rialto Channel has another superb line-up of films, including a collection of documentaries profiling creative innovators who changed the way we look at art and fashion.


Well, here we go again! Another year has arrived and this January Rialto Channel has another superb line-up of films, including a collection of documentaries profiling creative innovators who changed the way we look at art and fashion.

 We kick off with the documentary Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (Thursday 5th January, 8.30pm). Leibovitz has been chronicling American life and culture since the early 70s and has gone on to worldwide fame for her portraits of rock stars, politicians, actors, artists, in fact, anyone of note.

We are all familiar with her photos of a naked John hugging Yoko, a pregnant and naked Demi Moore and her many Vanity Fair magazine covers, but Leibovitz has always been very private about her own life. This documentary is directed and shot by her younger sister Barbara and it means she opens up on her childhood, her drug addiction, which started when she was working as a photographer at Rolling Stone magazine and her relationship with Susan Sontag.

 What’s interesting is that while Leibovitz’s recent work features celebrities in large and lavish productions, this documentary reminds you she spent a large part of her career capturing remarkable images without a lighting crew, circus animals or extravagant costumes.

 Mid-January this series of documentaries looks at the life and work of New York based graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died tragically at the age of 27, in Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (Thursday 12th January, 8.30pm). This is followed by the extraordinary story of paralysed American painter Chuck Close in the film simply titled Chuck Close, by the late filmmaker Marion Cajori (Thursday 19th January, 8.30pm).

 Fashion documentaries have become all the rage over the past few years; The September Issue, Valentino: The Last Emperor and Picture Me: A Model’s Diary have all been well received, and January ends with the latest installment of this genre, L’Amour Fou (Thursday 26th January, 8.30pm). In part the story of French designer Yves Saint Laurent, who died in 2008, as told by his partner of 50 years Pierre Berge, it is also the story of the art collection they accumulated together.

 A very matter of fact recollection of their life and work together, it is filled with enlightening personal and archive footage and recollections not just from Berge but also from Yves’ close friends. It will delight those who love looking inside other people’s homes as we are given access to Laurent and Berge’s Paris apartment as Berge prepares to sell their private art collection at auction. It’s a story of love, art and ethics, and house porn at its best.  

 If you’ve made one New Years’ resolution, it should be to watch more Rialto Channel!

 Happy New Year, and enjoy.

See the full line-up and watch trailers for January and February documentaries HERE. 


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# Joe
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 10:38 a.m.
Annie is inspiring, so much talent and what a life.

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