While BEAUTY CULTURE continues to break attendance records here at the Annenberg Space for Photography, we thought now would be a good time as any to publish a post on one of featured photographers, Lauren Greenfield and the documentary film, also titled BEAUTY CULTURE, that accompanies the show. The 30-minute film was directed by the award-winning photographer herself.
Produced by her husband and producing partner, Frank Evers, Greenfield filmed the documentary over the course of several months in Los Angeles, New York and Paris. Her intent was to create a film that focused on the sociological and psychological perceptions of beauty from a cross-cultural viewpoint.
Regarding her work on BEAUTY CULTURE Greenfield says, "A lot of the things I photograph are interconnected: from the young girls and the kind of precocious sexualization of young girls, to the vanity of teenagers and the kind of struggle to establish your identity as a teenager, to women and older women facing the challenge of getting older in a youth-obsessed culture. So this project, BEAUTY CULTURE, allowed me to kind of bring the work full circle and look at all aspects."
The film has been met with resounding praise from many guests here at the photography space citing Los Angeles--with its Hollywood machine and incessant promotion of the billion-dollar cosmetics industry--as an ideal location for a film addressing warped ideals of beauty.
BEAUTY CULTURE is certainly not Greenfield's first foray into filmmaking. Her documentary Thin premiered on HBO in 2006, also screening at the Sundance Film Festival. A film dealing with eating disorders of young women, Thin went on to earn Greenfield an Emmy nomination for Best Director of Non-Fiction Programming. Her follow-up doc kids + money, also broadcast on HBO, won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the AFI Film Festival among other honors.
The film, which features interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, Tyen, Crystal Renn and many others, screens throughout the day at the Space. Make sure you come see it before the exhibit closes next month.
As for Greenfield, she will return to the Space as our IRIS Nights lecturer on Thursday, October 13, in what is sure to be a standing-room only event!
If you're one of the nearly 50,000 patrons who has visited Beauty Culture since its May opening, we're betting there's a good chance you've departed the Space electrified by filmmaker and featured photographer Lauren Greenfield's documentary of the same name. We were thrilled to learn more about Greenfield's career during her recent IRIS Nights lecture at the Photography Space, as well as the inspirations behind her photographic and filmed accomplishments.
Greenfield was all smiles as she and her husband (and documentary producer) Frank Evers, arrived at the Space. This was Greenfield's second IRIS Nights lecture. She was also part of the L8S ANG3LES lineup!
Just before showtime, IRIS Nights attendees wrapped themselves all the way through the exhibit hall anticipating the opening of our gallery seating for Greenfield's lecture.
One of Greenfield's first images in her retrospective was of Las Vegas showgirl Anne-Margaret. A note taped to the entertainer's mirror reads "I approve of myself." This is one of many Greenfield images involving women that address issues dealing with self-esteem and self-acceptance.
Greenfield also spoke about an image taken at a beauty pageant for southern belles. The photo captures the contestants in traditional gowns and poses, but juxtaposing these traditions--the girls also flash garter belts on all of their legs.
Greenfield talked the above image in which a young model walked down the street, while being ogled by three passing men - one of them a hard-hat wearing construction worker. While the audience laughed at Greenfield's retelling of the story behind the picture, she joked that we may be responding with the laughter, but the men's wives probably had a far less humorous response!
Greenfield's work obviously inspires much discussion with audience members and she was happy to address a number of questions from lecture attendees regarding the psychological and sociological issues behind her images.
Guest perused copies of Greenfield's best-selling and award-winning books including Girl Culture, Fast Forward and Thin before meeting her for a book-signing in our photography library.
Visitors had an incredible opportunity to chat one-on-one with Greenfield during the book signing.
Meanwhile, Evers engages guests in conversation while waiting in the book-signing queue.
Greenfield happily greeted fans as several photographers maneuver through the crowd to capture the best angle. Despite the often intense and emotional images that she captures, Greenfield and her fans had a delightful evening and we certainly did too! Thank you so much, Lauren!
You can watch the lecture on our site by clicking here.
(All lecture images by Unique for the Space)
We're happy to announce that the Annenberg Space for Photography's film BEAUTY CULTURE has been selected by the International Documentary Association (IDA) as an entry in the 16th Annual IDA DocuWeek Theatrical Documentary Showcase which runs in Los Angeles August 10-30, 2012.
The 30-minute documentary is directed by filmmaker and photographer Lauren Greenfield. BEAUTY CULTURE explores feminine beauty in contemporary culture through photography and the implication for female body image. It examines our obsession with beauty-- its biological origins and how photographs shape our definitions of it. Elite fashion photographers, models and artists join pageant stars, bodybuilders, teenagers, and intellectuals in a provocative dialogue that addresses the persistent “beauty contest” that is daily life
Screenings of the film will take place in Los Angeles from August 10th through the 16th at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood. A Q&A session with Greenfield will follow those screenings on August 10 & 11.
The documentary will be screened on these seven dates as part of the festival's LA Shorts Program:
FRI 8/10 4:25 PM followed by Q&A with the film's director
SAT 8/11 6:00 PM followed by Q&A with the film's director
SUN 8/12 6:10 PM
MON 8/13 4:25 PM
TUE 8/14 6:00 PM
WED 8/15 6:10 PM
THU 8/16 4:25 PM
General public admission to screenings are available at the Laemmle for $11.00, $8.00 for IDA members and $8.00 for seniors and children. Please see the DocuWeeks site for details about showtimes and admission fees.
Watch a trailer for Beauty CULTURE here.