By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz January 14, 2014 at 11:30AM
After six years of hard work, Beth B and co-producer Sandra Schulberg are finally releasing their feature film, EXPOSED,which is currently showing at the
Institute of Contemporary Art, London, and will be showing at the Museum of Modern Art on March 3rd, and will have a theatrical run at the IFC Center, NYC
beginning March 13th.
EXPOSED is about liberation of the self, the body and the mind. The film focuses on performance artists who have been featured at the Whitney Biennale, PS 122, and Deitch Projects. These performers are a new generation of artists who are declaring their freedom of expression as Robert Mapplethorpe and Karen Finley did.
The film had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and was nominated Best Documentary Film, has shown in over 30 film festivals worldwide, and had its U.S. premiere at DOC NYC. It has received extraordinary international press (Top Ten Film in TIME Magazine Lightbox and Filmmaker Magazine) and has been touring the world (Moscow, Taiwan, Norway, Australia...).
The filmmakers are coordinating the combination of live performances and film screenings that create a phenomenal event and great exposure for the venues,
performers and the film. The audience they have seen at the screenings is very diverse including: art world, LGBT, students, feminists,
burlesque, disability, and human rights groups (it was shown at the Nuremberg Human Rights Festival!).
Below are quotes from several rave reviews
"One of the most revealing portraits yet of the marginal performance medium, the film is likely to blow the cobwebs off any preconceptions viewers might have about gender, sexuality, empowerment and the body."
Read more: DOC NYC 2013: Highlights From the Largest Documentary Festival in the U.S. - LightBox http://lightbox.time.com/2013/11/13/doc-nyc-2013-highlights-from-the-largest-documentary-festival-in-the-u-s/#ixzz2pqB77LEO
What the Critics Are Saying
"Beth B turns her all-embracing camera on the alternate burlesque scene in the intelligent and enjoyably outrageous 'EXPOSED." –Variety
There is a philosophy behind all of the performances in EXPOSED. Provocation is the weapon of choice against a society that seeks to limit what is considered to be outside the norms, “the other.” -- Die Tageszeitung
EXPOSED is a wonderful film that I think you will appreciate and enjoy!
EXPOSED…as reviewed in Little White Lies:
Director Beth B takes us a whirlwind journey through the intoxicating world of body performance.
It’s tempting to write burlesque off as glorified stripping, but director Beth B’s unique documentary shows the human body as a great performance art canvas for those brave or extroverted enough to use it. Her six-years-in-the-making film homes in on performers that use nudity, not to titillate — although that's involved — but to serve witty and inventive routines on gender, sexuality and politics. You ain't seen a US justice system satire till you've seen a US justice system satire called 'The Patriot Act' featuring a buxom, glitter-spangled blonde stuffing dollar bills in her mouth.
A composite of performances and interviews, Exposed works as both an X-rated cabaret show and analyses of its subjects’ motivations for letting us see everything. Whether its Mat Fraser taking ownership of his thalidomide-induced disability, Dirty Martini arabesqueing a fuck-you to instructors who said her body was wrong for dance, Rose Wood refusing to bolt himself into one gender or The World Famous *BOB* explaining a novel form of transexualism, the common thread is of individuals taking control of themselves and sharing this liberation with an audience.
"There is freedom in vulgarity" smiles Bunny Love, the most conventionally attractive of the bunch. She is perfectly aware of what she calls her "juicy" qualities and uses them to create performances that disturb and transfix in equal measure. "This is all just an illusion," she says of hair, eyelashes, lips, waist and boobs, "I can put it on and I can fake you out but it’s so much more complicated than that." These complexities are expressed via a maniacal on stage unravelling, like if Blanche DuBois’ spirit was embedded in the body of Marilyn Monroe and we saw her work at the Flamingo Hotel.
This act is the first of a run of performances that never dip in quality or boundary-pushing content. Beth B has found the best in the business and won their trust before channelling their symbiotic urges to opine and entertain. Dumb vessels for objectification do not live at this address. Instead we have eight character studies heartily engaged in the struggle to express themselves in nuance. All have learnt (the hard way) that, to get all Oscar Wilde: "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you."
Through a camera that repeatedly finds interviewees at dressing tables where the careful transformation from everyday person to feathery, glittery peacock is happening, Beth B replicates her subjects' obsession with glamour and the performance possibilities offered by costume. Yet just as their work is to take it all off, so too it is for Ms B, who finds them make-up free after a gig, or going to a friend's birthday in *gosh* jeans. Focus is not on getting carried with shimmer and lights but in using our gravitation towards such things to tell different stories.
Just one of these stories would be refreshing but Exposed has gone all-out, providing a luxurious sweet store of perspectives as coherent as they are unconventional. Knitted into the seams of this celebration of countercultural entertainment are circumspect moments delivered and captured so lightly that those seduced by the viewpoints on offer will feel drawn to watch and rewatch.
"I don’t like to perpetuate perfection because I think flaws are more interesting," says Bambi the Mermaid, best known for her 'egg-laying'. It's a point-of-view we need at a time when Photoshopping images of beautiful celebrities is du jour and it's a point-of-view adopted with absolute commitment by Bambi and everyone else prepared to show us who they are with nothing on.