Skip to main content

Beauty is Embarrassing Review



2012
Directed By Neil Berkeley 
Starring Wayne White, Paul Reubens and Mimi Pond

Most documentaries about artists tend to fall on the self important side of things and often forget the purpose of the film in the first place, to entertain people. I've seen more than one film about modern art that seemed to be daring the audience to enjoy it. I was hesitant to watch another movie about a reclusive artist and his pretentious critics and supporters. I have no idea why I had that prejudice about this film but dear god I was wrong. Delightfully wrong.

The film follows the career and life of Wayne White. Who is he you ask? Well thank you for asking he is an artist who got his start as an underground cartoonist in the East Village of New York then got his big break on Pee-Wee's Playhouse. If you're not familiar with the name Wayne White chances are you're familiar with his work. He has done some truly iconic stuff and I'm so glad this film shed a light on the man and his work. These two pieces (the man and his art) were disjointed but now thanks to Neil Berkeley's film they have been connected and I would have a hard time imagining one without the other.



The film is told in part through interview (critics, friends, fans and Wayne himself) and through live stage show. Some of the best parts of the film are Wayne telling his life story to a small room of people in a Tennessee bookstore. The film is heart warming and inspirational but most of all funny. Much like the films subject, the film makers obviously care about making the audience laugh.

Some critics might see going for laughs as cheapening the experience but I was thankful for it. I always like to think of John A Alonzo when it comes to comedy vs. drama. The same man who shot Chinatown shot Harold and Maude. Both are near perfect films that I personally love but only one of them is a film that I revisit once a year. Only one of them is one of my favorite films of all time. Harold and Maude is gorgeous film to look at, listen to and just experience. I'm not sure why we dismiss the art that makes us laugh but we should celebrate it and recognize it for how vital it truly is.



The film also features interviews with Matt Groening, Mark Mothersbaugh, Todd Oldham, Paul Reubens, Gary Panter, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Fari to name a few. This is an outsiders story. An outsider who has been on the fringe of pop-culture for close to three decades.

When looking at a Tennessee landscape White remarks "Its so beautiful it hurts my feelings." I've never heard a sentiment that was that poetic, humorous, profound and fundamentally true all at the same time. In fact that brief moment encapsulates Whites work nicely.

You can support the filmmakers and Wayne buy purchasing the film here. Its less than $5 and trust me its money well spent. Give up that cup of coffee at Starbuck's or that $5 footlong and go buy some art damn it.

Popular posts from this blog

Trainwreck

No contemporary filmmaker has chronicled the messy human experience with the eye and ear of a comedic cultural anthropologist like JUDD APATOW. Hits as varied as those he’s directed, like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and those he’s produced, like Superbad and Bridesmaids, are all unified by their honest, unflinching, comic look at how complicated it is to grow up in the modern world. Apatow has also built a history of helping break distinctive new comedy voices into the mainstream, from Seth Rogen to Lena Dunham, among many others. Now, in his fifth feature film as a director, Apatow again brings a portrait of an unforgettable character, and a portrayal by a breakout new comedy star, together in a film written by and starring AMY SCHUMER (TV’s Inside Amy Schumer) as a woman who lives her life without apologies, even when maybe she should apologize. U n d o u b t e d ly, S c h u m e r h a s b e e n s t e a d i ly achieving cultural notoriety of her own. From her bruta

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack? MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK: A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Inglourious Basterds

Episode 219 - Inglourious Basterds This week we are celebrating 10 years of Brad Pitt and his band of merry men wreaking havoc in Nazi Germany in Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece, Inglourious Basterds.