a tale of a few cities

Guest of Cindy Sherman

Posted in Art, Cinéma, Uncategorized by petercombe on July 24, 2009

It’s New York City in the early 1990s. Cindy Sherman is the press-wary luminary of contemporary American art. Everyone wants an interview; nobody gets one—with one exception: Paul Hasegawa-Overacker (H-O), the overactive mouthpiece of public-access TV’s GalleryBeat. They meet, they flirt, they soon cohabitate. But Sherman’s superstar status begins to denigrate H-O. A frustrated artist himself, he is always listed at Manhattan art events as her unnamed guest, never a person in his own right. In Guest of Cindy Sherman, H-O, with codirector Tom Donahue, turns the lens upon himself. The documentary follows the odd couple in some of their most intimate moments, from infatuation and romance to its demise as his male ego takes a bruising. In an irony undoubtedly not lost on H-O, it is in the candid moments with Sherman and the snippets of his interviews with her esteemed contemporaries—including Robert Longo and painter-director Julian Schnabel (Diving Bell and the Butterfly, SDFF 30), whose disdain for H-O’s guerilla filmmaking style is palpable—that his story finds its contextual grounding. (Look for a cameo appearance by Elton John’s partner David Furnish, who empathizes with H-O’s role as the overlooked sidekick to a major celebrity.)

Although Cindy Sherman has disassociated herself from the film, her onscreen presence shines in the footage H-O shot over a span of fifteen years. In particular, her intriguing explanation of the themes in several of her most famous photographic self-portraits wlll engage art lovers, even as the psychological implications of male-female role reversal in a supposedly postfeminist society reveal themselves.

Directed by Tom Donahue & Paul Hasegawa-Overacker. With Cindy Sherman & Paul H-O. USA, 2008, Running time: 88 mins.

This film is in very limited release, see it if you can.


One Response

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  1. Christopher said, on July 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Cool. Loved the film! It’s a must see.

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