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USA 2012
Directed by
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
72 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

About Face: The Supermodels, Then and Now

Although probably of interest to fashionistas, portrait photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' documentary is too unfocussed to hold more than diversionary value for the general viewer. The film seems to be a side project of an upmarket feature shoot on older models. Some of the women you will recognize -  Jerry Hall, Marisa Berenson, Christy Turlington, Isabella Rossellini et. al. - many you will not unless you happen to be a long-time card-carrying fashion tragic.

It is not however the unfamiliarity of the women that is the real draw-back but rather, appropriately for his profession as still photographer but not so effective for a documentary, Greenfield-Sanders has no real agenda other than to flatter the women on display. How far they play up to this is left to them and the film's editor. In general they talk quite candidly about their careers and there are a range of opinions aired but there is no attempt to challenge them in any way. Isabella Rossellini is probably the most thoughtful in her evaluations but it would be nice, for instance, to know if she used the anti-aging cream she promoted or if she even believed that it worked.

Expecting women who have made an awful lot of money and had a lot of fun doing it to be critical of an industry that enabled them to do so isn’t likely to get you very far. And that’s exactly how far this film goes.

DVD Extras: Out-takes; Supermodel portrait gallery

Available from: Madman




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