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
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

FILMS IN ACTION #1: Watch. Write. Read.

Educators and activists using films in creative ways.

Workshop with Power Writers:
Youth at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe watch films on body image and respond with poetry.

More info at:
To Be Heard

FILMS IN ACTION #2: Media Literacy in the Barbershop

Educators and Activists using films in creative ways.

CONNECT NYC leads violence prevention workshops with men and boys, and Daralee Vazquez is an educator in Brooklyn -- they teamed up to host a screening of WET DREAMS AND FALSE IMAGES in a barbershop.
(Co-hosted by the barbers featured in the film itself).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Totonto Film Scene Review

Review: The Guarantee/34x25x36 – BITE ME! 2010, by Dasha Kotova

Two short films by Jesse Epstein concluded the first day of the first BITE ME! film fest. One was about the pressure to undergo cosmetic surgery, while the other looked at the mannequin manufacturing industry.In The Guarantee, a gifted young male ballet academy student is badgered by his teacher to get a nose job; supposedly, his large nose would get in the way of his career. Though he likes his nose just fine, he eventually gives in to the pressure, even though he’s told it would not guarantee him a contract with a ballet company. The story is told through drawings, which are quickly sketched as the main character narrates the events. This film reminds the viewers that body image issues affect males as well as females, and that seemingly trivial matters can be blown out of proportion by unfair societal standards. It is a frustrating look at the shallowness that seems to penetrate even the most skill-based types of the entertainment industry.

The second film takes a look at an industry ruled entirely by shallow standards. Have you ever felt a little spooked by store window mannequins and the joyless stares on their contorted bodies? 34x25x36 peeks into the process of manufacturing these uncanny objects. The title the film is the standard measurement used to create female mannequins, which is why you always see them come in the one body type. The mannequin designers in the film say creepy things like “There are no perfect women. We make the perfect women”. One of them even likens his work to European religious statues, both in terms of portraying people you don’t know the way you imagine them, and in terms of worshipping the fashionable products that mannequin display the way people might worship the saints. Now, when you pass by a clothing store, you’ll know the strange things that go on in the minds of the people that make the alien-esque figures you see there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

NY Times Article: My Mannequin, Myself: What Talking Heads Say

"Twenty or 30 years ago, it was relatively easy to walk down Fifth Avenue and see differences in mannequins, differences not only in color and ethnic characteristics but also attitude and even emotion, which were conveyed by the novelty of the displays and, of course, the fashion. Nowadays, though, with few exceptions, the great avenue provides a window into limited resources and eroded convictions. By using the generic-looking mannequins, stores seem to want to erase the issue of race and ethnic identity — as much as blogs now serve to highlight these distinctions.

“A lot of stores just avoid that issue by spraying everything gloss white and not putting any features on the mannequin,” said Michael Steward, the executive vice president of Rootstein, a top specialist in realistic mannequins based in New York and London. “They don’t want to make a mistake.”

Similarly, he said, a designer client will spend $50,000 a day for a model for an advertising shoot but will fret over the choice of mannequin until finally saying, “Oh, just make it headless.”

As for the hot topic of body shape, mannequin makers do care — up to a point. Since the purpose of a mannequin is to display goods, its measurements can’t be too far out of line with standard dress sizes. A bit bustier and fuller in the hips, fine. But a shape that actually reflects many women’s bodies is a tough sell. Ralph Pucci, a maker of abstracts, produced a plumpish mannequin a while back, but sold hardly any. “It was just a big wow in the press, and the stores went back to tried and true, size 2 and 4,” Mr. Pucci said"

Read more: here

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greetings from New Hampshire

I'm up here at the MacDowell Colony working on expanding this film project -- and on a series of "films in action" videos for educators. It's great to be able to really focus on this without too many distractions.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


"For National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 21-27: Beauty in the Eyes of the Beheld is a documentary by Liza Figueroa Kravinsky looking at modern perceptions of beauty. Wet Dreams and False Images is a Sundance award-winning documentary by Jesse Epstein that utilizes humor to raise serious concerns about the marketplace of commercial illusion and unrealizable standards of physical perfection. Q&A with filmmakers and special guests follows."

More info at New York Daily News

One Pace Plaza
7 pm

Friday, January 8, 2010

Peabody Essex Museum Film Day: Defining Beauty

All three shorts will be screened

2pm Morse Auditorium

The Guarantee screening in Amsterdam...

as part of Niet Normal: Difference on Display

"From December 16th 2009 to March 7th 2010 a major art exhibition that allows a large audience to experience different works will be held at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. The exhibition, entitled: Niet Normaal * Difference on Display, features the work of internationally renowned artists who in their work address a defining question of our time: what is normal and who decides?

Even as technology and progress generate new opportunities for people of all sorts, shapes and sizes, we seem to be striving to become ever more uniform. The market and the media increasingly determine how we look at ourselves and at each other. Perfection is the norm.

What is this norm, and who actually satisfies it? Where do we draw the line? At a facial wrinkle, a depression, at someone who isn’t interested in getting ahead, at a visible prosthetic device, taking pills to improve intelligence, at major cosmetic surgery?

Artists create space for diversity with humor and insight. Works by among others Marc Quinn, Marlene Dumas, Viktor & Rolf, The Chapman Brothers and Aernout Mik will be exhibited.Science, games and design will also be featured, and there will be a separate movie theater. In addition, performances, discussions, film screenings, lectures and parties will be held. The exhibition and parallel programming will engage, confront and offer alternative perspectives. Rebellion and humor alternate. Art and science come together to confront urgent questions facing today’s society."


Barbershop Screening of WET DREAMS AND FALSE IMAGES

“Barbershops have always been a place where people come not only to get a haircut – but to meet and converse about current events, politics, pop culture, music, sports, WOMEN, relationships and more.”
Quentin Walcott of Connect NYC

So, we're taking the film back to where it all started, and hosting a screening at Dee Dee the baber's shop -- Fade2Famous. After the screening, there will be a discussion lead by Dee Dee, Daralee Vazquez (Dee Dee’s sister), Quentin Walcot (Connect NYC) and Raid. The event will be filmed and will serve as an example of ways films can be used outside of theaters and in the community. For more information and to RSVP, visit the
Facebook event.

Saturday, January 30th 8:30pm at Fade2Famous (213 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Adventures in Photoshop

Dan Katz, who was one of the editors of Wet Dreams and False Images just sent this explorations in photoshop link: