Guest Of Cindy Sherman

2008, Movie, NR, 88 mins


Guest of Cindy Sherman
Paul Hasegawa-Overacker, better known as Paul H-O, has an interesting story to tell about the New York art scene of the 1990s. As one of the hosts of "GalleryBeat," a public access program, he was on the fringes of the scene, but that gave him a surprising level of access (he got people to talk more freely because they knew the audience was small) and the uniquely skewed perspective of the outsider. These elements coalesce into an engaging document in Guest of Cindy Sherman, which offers an overview of the TV show, with particular emphasis on his relationship with the esteemed and famously reclusive photographer. H-O shares directing credit with accomplished indie producer/editor Tom Donahue, but thankfully, the filmmakers are unabashed about showing the less successful moments of his TV career, including a hilarious on-camera verbal beatdown by Julian Schnabel. The story of the rise and fall of H-O's romance with Sherman holds a certain fascination. H-O doesn't exactly handle living in her shadow gracefully, but at least he demonstrates some degree of self-awareness, and allows others to point out that his difficulty in accepting their respective roles is connected to a distinctly male sense of entitlement and ego. The film is more valuable as an entertainingly fast-paced look at Sherman's significance as a female artist whose primary subject was identity, and at the art boom of the late '90s and its discontents. H-O has made an engaging, funny, and illuminating film; one hopes he would appreciate the irony of the fact that he's the least interesting thing in it. leave a comment --Josh Ralske

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Guest Of Cindy Sherman
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