3 Short Films designed to start important conversations about body image, media, and self-esteem.
- Wet Dreams and False Images (Winner: Sundance Film Festival, ALA/ YALSA Award)
- The Guarantee (Best Short Film - Newport International Film Festival)
- 34x25x36 (National PBS Broadcast on POV)
WET DREAMS AND FALSE IMAGES (12 min.)
Exposes the art of digital photo-retouching
How do images of perfect female beauty influence men’s perceptions of real women? And, how we see ourselves?
THE GUARANTEE (11 min.)
Teasing, self-perception, cultural identity, and plastic surgery.
How would changing our bodies to try to fit an image alter the way we see ourselves? -- Or even who we are?
A dancer’s hilarious story about his prominent “Italian” nose and the effect it has on his career.
34x25x36 (8 min.)
A look at mannequins, religion and perfection.
Enter the inner workings of the Patina V Mannequin Factory and see what goes into making “the ideal woman of the moment” — in plastic.
"Recommended for academic and public libraries, Body Typed is an excellent instructional and discussion resource for communication, media, psychology, and gender curricula."
Educational Media Reviews Online
Engaging and innovative..Recommended.
In three short but compelling vignettes, award-winning filmmaker Jesse Epstein exposes those who manufacture the artificial beauty our culture so desperately craves.
Turning her camera on a barber shop gathering in inner-city Brooklyn, Epstein’s subjects, self-assured that “girly” photos adorning the walls are realistic, are surprised to learn the pictures had been doctored. In Wet Dreams and False Images, a retouching artist demonstrates how it’s done, even to photos of perfectly normal women.
Going under the knife for the sake of job security is the subject of The Guarantee. Shown as a series of animated pencil drawings and narrated by a male ballet dancer who succumbs to pressure to get a nose job, the film illustrates that talent and skill are simply not enough to make it as a performer.
34 x 25 x 36 peers into the work of mannequin sculptors who characterize their art as “playing with people’s minds as to what the ideal woman is.” Comparable to idealized religious statuaries, the mannequins are crafted to represent society’s idea of perfection at the time.
Practical and helpful, bonus footage gives ideas on how to use the film as a teaching tool for youth.
Screened at numerous film festivals, Body Typed won awards at Sundance, Newport International, Rooftop Films, Luna Fest, and Chicks With Flicks. It was also a “top video for young adults” on the Amercian Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association list. PBS aired “34 x 25 x 36” on its POV documentary series in 2009.
Recommended for academic and public libraries, Body Typed is an excellent instructional and discussion resource for communication, media, psychology, and gender curricula.
Margaret M. Reed, Riley-Hickingbotham Library, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, AR
Educational Media Reviews Online
If there is education like this maybe another girl will be spared years of shame and embarrassment for not resembling the perfected bodies in magazines.
High School Student
For Wet Dreams and False Images, Epstein's thesis, which went on to win the Sundance Online Jury Award in '04, she filmed men in a Brooklyn barbershop who adore the glossy magazine pinups of J. Lo and Beyonce hanging on their walls. But in a clever twist Epstein takes the same images to a touch-up artist who reveals their heavy amount of airbrushing and tweaking. Next came The Guarantee, a funny look at a male ballet dancer's decision to have plastic surgery told through the drawings of a sketch artist, and, this past year, 34x25x36, a visit to a company that makes unrealistically perfect mannequins. "What I love about short films is you can get in there, raise some questions, tell a little story and get out, leaving it all open for discussion," Epstein says.
This film makes the study of society and the media relevant to students by speaking to their everyday experiences and inspires them to speak as well -- guaranteed to spark lively classroom conversations.
Astra Taylor, Department of Sociology SUNY New Paltz