In Jesse Epstein's collection of three short films, entitled "Body Typed," old concepts are looked at with a new twist.---
Based around the theme of physical perfection, filmmaker Jesse Epstein created three short films, which she eventually will compile with a fourth into a feature length movie. Sometimes it can seem like body issues among Americans today have been talked to death- yes, we all realize advertising is fake and basically made to make everyone feel bad about themselves in order to sell a product- but Epstein's take on this subject went a different route; other than pictures, the only woman shown in all three films is Epstein herself.
Wet Dreams & False Images takes place in a Brooklyn barbershop, as Epstein discusses the magazine cut-outs one of the barbers, Dee-Dee, has up on the wall. Dee-Dee talks about how one "booty" isn't big enough, and another is perfect because it looks like you can bounce a coin off of it, but soon is showed a video of the airbrushing techniques used on images. As his friend states after the video, Epstein fucked up Dee-Dee's wet dreams to a lot of false images. By turning the images into a joke instead of lamenting over young girls' loss of confidence because of them, Epstein forces her audience to take a fresh look at the effects of images.
The Guarantee goes another route, with illustrator Robert Castillo's sketches sped up as former dancer Charles Farruggio gives a narrative about his experience with rhinoplasty. Farruggio's commentary on his ballet teachers' encouragement of him to get a nose job is very funny, and the fact that the real Farruggio is never shown points a finger at the audience, as if to say "You want to see how much 'better' he looks, don't you? Too bad!" While viewers may expect to hear another plastic surgery horror story, what you get is an amusing look at how men, too, have issues with their bodies.
"Is Barney's the church of today?" Asks one of the mannequin designers in Epstein's final film, 34x25x36. Epstein takes the viewer through the process of creating a mannequin, and points out how images of women have always been worshiped; before, it was Madonnas, now Victoria's Secret Angels. And all of the men in the back of a Brooklyn shop are making sure it stays that way.
The three films together were half an hour, so it should be interesting to see how Epstein turns this project into a feature-length movie. This more alternative view of body image issues reinvigorated a subject that I think needed it.