posted by Christopher Howard — Feb 06, 2013
CAA invites you to attend a special Annual Conference screening of the film Beauty Is Embarrassing and a Q&A session with its director, Neil Berkeley, on Friday evening, February 15, 7:30–10:00 PM. Released in 2012, Beauty Is Embarrassing chronicles the life and times of the Tennessee-born Wayne White, a cartoonist, cocreator of Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and maker of humorous word paintings on found canvases. The film will be screened in the Sutton Parlor Center, Second Floor, Hilton New York. Admission is free.
Called a “funny, enormously entertaining film” by the film critic Leonard Malten, Beauty Is Embarrassing portrays the vaulted highs and the crushing lows of a commercial artist struggling to find peace and balance between his work and his art. Acting as his own narrator, White guides us through his life using moments from his latest creation: a hilarious, biographical one-man show, drawn from performances at venues in Tennessee, New York, and Los Angeles, including the famous Roseland Ballroom and the Largo Theater.
Whether he’s parading a twenty-foot-tall puppet through the Tennessee hillside, romping through the Hollywood Hills dressed in his Lyndon Baines Johnson puppet suit, relaxing in his studio pickin’ his banjo, or watching his children grow up much too soon, White always seems to have a youthful grin and a desperate drive to create art and objects. It is an infectious quality that will inspire everyone to find his or her pleasure in life and pursue it at all costs.
Elina Shatkin of Los Angeles magazine writes, “This movie ought to be required viewing, not just for Oscar voters but for every aspiring artist wondering how to build a life doing what they love. Beauty is Embarrassing isn’t simply a testament to the talents of Wayne White; it’s a snapshot of the ways in which creativity and the business of daily living can be inseparably fused.”
The film’s director, Neil Berkeley, has worked in movies and television for more than ten years, developing content and packaging for Project Runway, Top Chef, Work of Art, and America’s Next Great Restaurant, among others. He has also been design producer for several feature-length documentaries, including The Cool School, Johnny Cash’s America, Air Guitar Nation, and Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story.
Top image: Wayne White and his paintings, in a still from Beauty Is Embarrassing.
Bottom image: Neil Berkeley, director of Beauty Is Embarrassing.