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Fashion modelling and all its associated issues are a constant source of material for the tabloid press. But in all this discussion, we rarely hear what the models themselves have to say. The women in this documentary have seen and done it all – and they do have a lot to say.
In his film “About Face: Supermodels Then And Now”, filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has gathered together a huge cast of iconic models: Isabella Rossellini, Jerry Hall, Marisa Berenson and more. All are veterans of the business, ranging in age from the forties to the magnificent Carmen Dell’Orefice, who is still modelling proudly in her eighties (and no doubt the envy of many a sixty year old).
These women have seen it all, and between them have experienced the modelling phases and the fashions of a large part of the twentieth century. Between them, they discuss the changes they have observed, and how the modelling life changed them. They talk about racial issues, AIDS and drugs. They candidly talk about the ageing process – some of them have opted to age naturally, while others feel no shame in admitting they’ve had a little surgical help. Above all, they express their own definitions of what it means to be beautiful – some of which are unexpected and moving.
For those who have an image of models as vacuous pieces of ornamentation, “About Face” will be a surprise. Because the charm, eloquence and intelligence of these women is the soul of the film. It is a real pleasure to listen as they tell their stories.
You can watch it now on beamafilm on our seven day free trial, or through your participating public library.
by Rebecca Boyle