Biography Documentary

SXSW Review: ‘Sophie and the Baron’

March 18, 2021Ben MK

There's a certain camaraderie among artists that seems to transcend their respective mediums. And in Sophie and the Baron, director Alexandria Jackson explores one such bond — the unlikely friendship and collaborative relationship between contemporary artist Sophie Kipner and Rolling Stone magazine's first chief photographer, Baron Wolman.

Part biography, part behind-the-scenes documentary, the film follows the pair as Kipner sets out to recreate some of Wolman's most iconic photographs — beginning with his famous photo of the crowd at the 1969 Woodstock music festival — using the drawing technique known as blind contouring. But as much as seeing Kipner turn a blank canvas into a fully fledged-out piece of art is a process that's fascinating to watch, what follows is made all the more interesting by hearing Wolman tell of his own life story and how he came to work for Rolling Stone, as well as the anecdotal tales behind some of his most well-known portraits.

The end result is not only a piece of art in and of itself — as all films are — it's a look at how two people at two completely different stages in life can still unite over a common ground. And no matter who you are, that's a message that we can all draw from in our own lives.

Sophie and the Baron screens under the Documentary Shorts Competition section at the 2021 South by Southwest Film Festival. Its runtime is 31 min.

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