BODY TYPED Film Clips:

Winner: Sundance Film Festival - Short Subject Jury Award
Winner: Newport International Film Festival - Best Short Film
National PBS Broadcast on POV
Click here for more info and clips & to ORDER Educational Use DVD (NEW DAY FILMS) /// Click here to ORDER Home Use DVD
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Friday, April 17, 2009

On Point Interview with Susie Orbach

Op-Ed piece was mentioned on NPR and my pal just sent me the link. Actually haven't had time to listen to the piece yet, but here it is:

Reclaiming Our Bodies

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Join the discussion in person

Would be great to get input on this large topic. If you are in NY on the 23rd please come on out to a screening/ summit being organized by Working Films.

Info From Their Site
92Y Tribeca: Body Typed (aka Wet Dreams & False Images)
New York, NY

April 23, 2009 07:00PM to 10:00PM
Hosted by Working Films
Event Description:

Chicken & Egg Pictures and Working Films
AND Special Guest Co-Hosts The Fledgling Fund and Rooftop Films, present the next installment of STORY LEADS TO ACTION, a monthly series at the 92YTribeca Screening Room

Thursday, April 23rd at 7:00 PM

Please Join us for a Special Evening

the Power of the SHORT
to Engage, Enrage, Entertain and Initiate
LONG term transformation.

Jesse Epstein’s
"Body Typed"
a series of award-winning shorts exploring every angle (and then some) about the pursuit of physical perfection.

34x25x36 ('08)
SKIN a work-in-progress/rough-cut (to be released in 09/10)

This evening is dedicated to that gorgeous moment when the movie stops and the lights come up, the YouTube ends, and the audience wants to know: What they can do? Where to go? What to wear!

After each screening of each short there will be an interactive highly engaged discussion/brainstorming session
New York’s best and brightest activists, educators, class room teachers, community organizers and health care professionals working women and girls/men and boys health, identity and body image
Award-winning filmmaker Jesse Epstein, named by FILMMAKER MAGAZINE to be one of the "25 new faces of independent film" in 2008

Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand,
Co-Founder, Chicken & Egg Pictures/Working Films

Jesse Epstein walks out with a more advanced understanding of how her serious and and seriously funny & engaging shorts can be used effectively
to promote a more healthy, evolved, aware and engaged NEW YORK and support the ongoing work of the best/brightest activists and educators etc... (no pressure).

The audience walks out knowing a little more about what linking filmmaking to organizing, “community engagement” and how story leads to action.

7:00 pm

200 Hudson Street
New York , NY 10013
Tickets are $12
Click here to purchase tickets


Chicken & Egg Pictures is a hybrid film fund and non-profit production
company dedicated to supporting women filmmakers who are as passionate about
the craft of storytelling as they are about the environmental, human rights
and social issues they're embracing, translating and exploring on film.

Working Films advances social, economic, environmental and racial justice by
linking non-fiction filmmaking to cutting-edge activism.

The Fledgling Fund seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals, families,
and communities by supporting innovative media projects and community-based
organizations that target entrenched social problems.

Rooftop Films is known internationally as one of the most dynamic film festivals in the world.
The 2009 Summer Series will run from May through September and will feature more than 200 daring new films,
all screened outdoors, in front of big, loyal audiences in parks, along the water, and on rooftops overlooking the greatest city on earth.
More than 15,000 people attended Rooftop screenings in 2008, making it one of the most popular festivals in New York City .
The 2009 Summer Series will surely feature even bigger crowds, even more beautiful venues, and more incredible films.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

We Live in a Virtual World by David Byrne

A friend sent me this entry written by David Byrne. I posted the link but just re-read it and decided to post the whole thing....

"French public health officials are considering laws that would ban the promotion of eating disorders — including a requirement that magazines reveal the extent to which their images have been artificially retouched. It’s viewed as a public health issue because girls and boys (and men and women) are feeling increasingly ashamed of their bodies as they compare themselves to what they see all around them — images of bodies that are not real, that have been photoshopped, digitally airbrushed and heavily modified.

Of course, ever since the birth of the movie star early last century, their images have been cleaned up, improved and controlled. Celebrities and pin-ups have been with us for a long time, and the fairytale world of far-off Hollywood was always infinitely better than whatever small town reality you were living in. But it was just that — a fairytale kingdom that existed far away, with relatively few inhabitants.

The difference, I suppose, is that of quantity, not quality. These days, altered images are ubiquitous; the fairytale world threatens to engulf our own. The illusion is more complete, too — with digital technology it’s harder to see the smoothing. Stalin would have drooled at the possibilities. Almost nothing one sees in print or advertisements hasn’t been “improved” in some way, except maybe some journalistic news photos — and even those are suspect. There’s the visual field that consists of us and our friends, and then there’s the print world — certainly more dramatic, and often more physically perfect. We live in a parallel universe, slightly more drab and definitely more pudgy.

One can’t legislate the heavenly world out of existence — people need fairytales, after all — but maybe a more constant reminder to not believe everything we see would help us to retain some tenuous connection with our pathetic reality. The thing is, we can’t help believing what we see. When I look at an impossibly sexy woman on a billboard, I can tell myself that she’s been sculpted and smoothed to death, but I’m riveted and transfixed nonetheless. Instinct triumphs over intellect.

Pascal Dangin, a well-known retoucher who works on a lot of the images in fashion magazines (and for some fine artists as well), naturally doesn’t see it exactly that way. He makes photos that “improve on life,” in his words. But if I can paraphrase, he might say that he makes an image more like what it wants to be — and therefore it ends up being closer to what we desire to see. That doesn’t necessarily mean perfect — he is careful to avoid airbrushing the personality out of a person — but it does mean he’s certainly not against making quite a few (what he has determined are aesthetic) improvements.

The health departments are alarmed at the effect all this is having on young people. Boys hanker for steroids, and girls, a session with the knife, in order to look more like what they see in the magazines. Unfortunately, the magazines don’t just feature physically enhanced people — they’ve been heavily retouched as well. We would have to hand out some kind of high-tech, rose colored, photoshopping glasses in order to achieve a visual simulation of the media population."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sundance Short Film Showcase

Just got back from SLC Utah. Wet Dreams and False Images was part of a line-up of shorts. Hadn't actually seen any of the other films beforehand. They were great -- really diverse subjects and styles. Fun to get to know the other filmmakers.

We even went practice skydiving which was pretty hysterical. Basically you suit up and enter this wind tunnel/ turbine and get to pretend to be a superhero.

But the real highlight was getting to do a workshop at Spyhop. I used to teach a documentary program called Reel Stories through Sundance and was great to be back there.