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Bruce Weber's new film assumes the form of a "letter" written home to his beloved golden retrievers while he's on the road working. Still emotionally buffeted in the wake of 9/11, Weber's separation heightens the feelings of love and vulnerability he feels towards his loved ones and sets the tone for this lovely visual essay celebrating the innate nobility of animals - and by extension - the beauty and fragility of life. The mood is one of a "nostalgia for the present" which also freely incorporates images and sounds from the past. In structure A Letter to True (True is Weber's youngest pup) is very much a continuation of the form of his Chop Suey, in which the central subject is a framework in which all manner of thematically associated material can be integrated. As in a letter written late at night in which one wanders from subject to subject as the mind seizes on a new thought, here segments of the dogs gamboling on the beach or posing with super-models alternate with scenes from The Courage of Lassie with a young Elizabeth Taylor and the home movies of Dirk Bogarde. World War II combat photography gives way to a jazzy interlude on the streets of New York, an appreciation of Vietnam combat photographer Larry Burrows, the plight of Haitian refugees, roughhousing farm boys, and the lives of surfers. This ode to those things that Weber feels come from a place that is sincere, good, life-affirming, and yes -- true -- is delicately set to music of Doris Day, Joni James, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Strayhorn, and Blossom Dearie. The seductive surface hides an adventurous experimental core in this love letter from a friend.
Bruce Weber, born March 29, 1946 in Greenburg, Pennsylvania, is an internationally renowned photographer and filmmaker with 19 books to his credit. His works -- exhibited in gallery shows and museums worldwide -- are in the permanent collections of London's Victoria and Albert Museums, as well as in the Photography Division of the city of Paris. Weber is equally acclaimed for filmmaking. His first two films, Broken Noses (1987) and Let's Get Lost (1988), won Best Documentary awards from the International Documentary Association. Let's Get Lost was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary and the film's soundtrack hit number one, becoming the best-selling Chet Baker collection in history. Weber has also directed commercials for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, Volvo, and Dior Homme, and music videos for Chris Isaak and The Pet Shop Boys -- winning Music Week's Video of Year.