Saturday, April 04, 2009

"Extremely Ambivalent"

The relationship between filmmaker and subject in making a documentary is always a tricky one. Usually, there's a balance between exploitation and value: by definition, the filmmaker is "using" the subject, but usually it's in a benign way, and often to the subject's benefit.

But not always.

I'm eager to see Guest of Cindy Sherman -- since I love both photography and documentaries about photographers -- but I have to admit any film made by an "ex-boyfriend" has a lot to prove....

Camera Shy

While her depiction in the film is overwhelmingly positive, Sherman’s enthusiasm for the film has waned since the relationship ended. “I was and still am extremely ambivalent about the film, not that I don't think Paul will do a great job, but that I'm in it,” she told The Financial Times in 2006. “I wish he could tell the story without mentioning me.” And though she had given her blessing for friends, colleagues, and staff—among them, John Waters, Carol Kane, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Ingrid Sischy—to speak on camera, Sherman sent a mass e-mail before the Tribeca Film Festival premiere to disavow the project, labeling it a “big mistake.”

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