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Anton Corbijn: Inside Out

Anton Corbijn: Inside Out

Released 14 September 2012
Director Klaartje Quirijns

Anton Corbijn, Bono, Martin Gore, James Hetfield

Klaartje Quirijns, Thomas den Drijver

Gertjan Langeland, Sander Verdonk

Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden
Running Time 85 minutes
Genre Documentary, biography
Rating TBC

Snap shot.

There are often two main components that comprise a good cinema documentary – its length is one, consistency is the other. While most are best developed using some sort of narrative structure, it isn't always easy to achieve this when the primary focus is to shed light, facts and solid information rather than necessarily instil diversified emotions like what regular motion pictures set out to achieve. Because of its subject matter, Anton Corbijn: Inside Out falls somewhere in the middle, always interesting but never truly as inspiring as some of his famed photography or indeed the artists whom he has shot.

Now fifty-seven years-old, Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn has spent almost three decades as a creative director for some of the most famous entertainers in the world. Including the likes of U2, Metallica and Depeche Mode, as well as several acclaimed movie stars, Corbijn has the ability to on countless occasions capture the perfect moment that aptly describes his subjects and their art. This documentary, through the eyes of the man himself, along with his family and a glorified concoction of the influential people he has worked with, offers an insight into this man's existence as someone who has it all but is still rather lonely for it – despite his best efforts not to be.

There are a lot of great things on offer here, particularly in the first half. We are immediately given a picture of what it is like to be Corbijn with many of his images, supported by a stellar soundtrack from the musicians he has worked alongside, ably setting the tone. Ironically, for someone who loves to peer into the nuances of another world, Corbijn is rather secretive, almost mysterious, while still coming across as a very likable guy.

Where the documentary falls is in its length and consistency. At just eighty-five minutes it shouldn't seem like a tedious stretch but it feels much longer as there are occasions when his clientele were perhaps given time slots for self-appreciation rather than to support the film itself in any meaningful way. The most telling parts come not from the stars but from his family. Corbijn has a loving and pretty close relationship with his siblings but his mother openly admits to having desired to marry another man before his father.

As a packaged biography in its entirety it seems a little perverse for this to be on the big screen at all but Inside Out is worth watching to simply sample some of the vast body of stunning work Corbijn has produced.

- David Caulfield