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Friday, July 27, 2012



Photo Credit: Portrait © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders /Courtesy of HBO

Vacation is a state of mind. We believe that the glass is half full.  We believe in the healing power of sand, rum, limes and laughter. We believe that maybe the hokey pokey is what it's all about. We believe that time spent together with friends and family is time well spent. We believe in the island spirit of warmth and hospitality. And we believe that summer is too short and vacations too fleeting, to limit this lifestyle to a single season. Our brand is a four-season brand, offering a rich array of products for laid back, happy living, all year long. Welcome to Caribbean Joe.

ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW: (L-R) Carmen Dell’Orefice & Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Photo Credit: Photo by Mark Mahaney/Greenfield-Sanders studio /Courtesy of HBO

What does beauty mean today?  What is the power of beauty?  The commoditization of beauty certainly doesn't have an exchange like the floor of the NYSE; it is literally over the counter, and sometimes that means at the counter of Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's or Saks.  All women want to know that they are both smart and beautiful, but the truth is, not all of them are.  If you have one, you always want the other, and if you have both, one is usually stronger.  Models obviously are the exemplification of beauty so says the world and society, and what we love most about ABOUT FACE is that these models have personality and something going on inside as well.  No one has staying power without brainpower.

The work opens with thoughts of plastic surgery, which of course evoke natural controversy on artificiality.  This work is not afraid to bring up topics that encourage discussion, and the history of Modeling we've found fascinating before in the past-read our review of Michael Gross's book.

Advertising after WWII really ignited the industry, and off we go.  Times may have changed, but we don't think anyone today would complain about going to Europe four times a year to pick out clothes...  Keep in mind the models you will be hearing from are the legends of modeling, who having earned their marks, can speak freely and openly and their honesty is amazing in itself.  All of the dark sides of the industry are captured-which certainly differs in each decade- as well as the sunny side we already know from the magazines.

ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW: (L-R) Beverly Johnson, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders & Cheryl Tiegs

Photo Credit: Photo by Mark Mahaney/Greenfield-Sanders studio /Courtesy of HBO

The black background is striking and makes sense in contrast to the interview of each stunning model by herself, and visually the camera is all on the models.  It is refreshing and exciting to hear what each has to say, particularly because we don't associate them with talking.  Of course you identify them by their visual, not their audio and this added dimension shows how lively and intelligent they are.  Guess who said fashion gave her feathers?  Guess who said what others might have considered sexual harassment, the models considered to be compliments.  Guess who was discovered on the Riviera after escaping Texas.  Guess who said they really starved, an apple here, a carrot there.  Guess who dreamed as being an artist in Paris, carting her dog around in a bag?  You've got to watch this since we won't tell you!  These people are completely fascinating and the whole work by HBO is well-done.

Being a model is FUN.  Being a model is INTERESTING.  And, even if you've been a model, you haven't done it like these women have or you'd have been included.  There is something for everyone to hear here.


Photo Credit: Portrait © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders /Courtesy of HBO

You'll meet Schiaparelli's granddaughter-you know her in our coverage from her current Met exhibit with Prada-you'll hear about what it was like to live in a modeling dormitory, and how different that is from being free in Paris.  You're going to love Jerry Hall's twang.

ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW: (L-R) Kim Alexis, Andrew Sotomayor, Christie Brinkley, Sandy Linter, Natalie DiStefano
Photo Credit: Photo by Mark Mahaney/Greenfield-Sanders studio /Courtesy of HBO

Does one deserve to be called beautiful and what is beauty?  Beauty may in the eye of the beholder, but what happens when many have the same eyes?  And how does it feel to be beautiful?  You'll hear it all here.  


Photo Credit: Portrait © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders /Courtesy of HBO

One of them is going to tell you our favorite line from this whole work:
"To me, the most beautiful thing there is in another human is confidence.  And nothing says I'm not confident as much as botox."  We also love the camaraderie that comes together in the last shoot.  We love the wisdom of the "old people."  We also love their spirit of the invincible.

ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW: (L-R) Paulina Porizkova & Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Photo Credit Photo by Mark Mahaney/Greenfield-Sanders studio /Courtesy of HBO

If you are young today, you'll benefit from the words of wisdom of these women, who are making aging okay.  We all live in a world of youth and we should live in a world of each person being the best they can be for where they are at a given point in time.  Why shouldn't they be allowed to age?  We do respect them for it.  We also love their humanity and learning who they are as people.

ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW: (L-R) Patti Hansen, Esme Marshall, Cheryl Tiegs, Beverly Johnson, Lisa Taylor, Kelly Emberg, Carol Alt, Karen Bjornson, Dayle Haddon, Christie Brinkley, Nancy Donahue, Kim Alexis

Photo Credit: Portrait © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders /Courtesy of HBO

All those beautiful faces, amazing personalities and colorful stories: the culmination of that and the collective adventures that you'll envy are absolutely not to miss on HBO!  Pour yourself a glass of wine, put your feet up, and listen to stories of these women from them firsthand.  If you think you know them, you will see you really don't until you watch this!
Whom You Know Highly Recommends About Face by HBO!


From the pervasive obsession with youth to issues of substance abuse, self-esteem, race and plastic surgery, beauty is a commodity in society today. 

Directed by acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (HBO’s “The Black List” and “The Latino List”), ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW explores the lives and careers of legendary models, highlighting the complex relationship between physical appearance and the business of beauty when it debuts MONDAY, JULY 30 (9:00-10:15 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. 

Other HBO playdates: Aug. 3 (4:30 p.m.), 5 (5:30 p.m.), 9 (10:30 a.m., 12:55 a.m.), 11 (1:45 p.m.), 14 (2:45 p.m.) and 27 (5:15 a.m.) 

HBO2 playdates: Aug. 8 (8:00 p.m.), 26 (7:45 a.m.) and 27 (4:30 p.m.) 

HBO Documentary Films presents another weekly series this summer, debuting provocative new specials every Monday through July 30. Other July films include: “Birders: The Central Park Effect” and “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” (July 16); and “Vito” (July 23). 

An official selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW was filmed by Greenfield-Sanders in his trademark intimate portrait style, and features interviews with some of the most celebrated visages of the 20th century. Through conversations with supermodels, including Carol Alt, Marisa Berenson, Karen Bjornson, Christie Brinkley, Pat Cleveland, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Jerry Hall, Bethann Hardison, Beverly Johnson, China Machado, Paulina Porizkova, Isabella Rossellini, Lisa Taylor and Cheryl Tiegs, the documentary reveals the roles they played in defining — and redefining — beauty over time. 

When asked her view of cosmetic surgery, Carmen Dell’Orefice replies, “That’s a very polite way of asking me, I’m sure, ‘Have you had a facelift?’ Well, if you had the ceiling falling down in your living room, would you not go and have a repair?” Model and actress Isabella Rossellini offers a different perspective, wondering, “Is this the new foot binding? Is this a new way to be misogynist? Is this a new way to tell women that you are ugly?” 

Some of the women recall how modeling was once considered improper, and certainly not a viable career. Bethann Hardison quips that her mother suspected she was a prostitute until she saw her in a TV commercial. “Nowadays, everybody wants their child to model,” she says, adding, “Back in the day, nobody wanted anybody to be a model!” China Machado says she was paid $100 a month when she started modeling in the early 1950s, observing, “I was the highest-paid model in Europe.” 

Others recall life in the ‘70s and ‘80s, including wild parties with the likes of Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, when some models compensated for shyness and insecurity with cocaine. After drugs entered the scene, models assumed a harsher look and in some cases bore visible track marks on their arms. The party slowed down with the arrival of AIDS, which affected many in the fashion industry. 

ABOUT FACE maps the ways the modeling business has changed, and remained the same, through the decades. Older and wiser now, the women speak openly about fears and challenges they wouldn’t have voiced earlier in their careers. As Paulina Porizkova observes, self-esteem was measured very differently than it is today. “What people called sexual harassment we called compliments,” she says. 

“When you get older, you build something else in your core, which goes beyond the physical, because it has to,” says Marisa Berenson. As Jerry Hall puts it, “Of course it’s no fun getting old and sick and dying. We all know that’s coming and it’s a bore,” she says. “Why shouldn’t we be allowed to age? When I turned 50, I felt a sense of achievement.” 

ABOUT FACE’s look at beauty as a commodity and the pressures of overnight stardom is interwoven with a celebration of the reinvention that can come with aging. Several models talk about the sense of freedom, satisfaction and longevity they derive from learning to age gracefully, whether by focusing on family or new interests and business opportunities. 

The film culminates in a bi-coastal group photo shoot featuring more than a dozen of the world’s top fashion models in New York and Los Angeles. 

ABOUT FACE also features appearances by Kim Alexis, Nancy Donahue, Esmé, Eileen Ford, Dayle Haddon, Christy Turlington Burns and Calvin Klein. 

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders is a filmmaker and photographer known for his strikingly intimate portraits of world leaders and major cultural figures, which can be found in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum and National Portrait Gallery. He won a Grammy for his 1998 documentary “Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart.” His 2008-2010 multimedia project “The Black List” featured three HBO documentaries, a book and a national museum tour, and won an NAACP Image award. In 2011, he created “The Latino List,” which included the HBO documentary, a Brooklyn Museum exhibition and a bilingual book. 

On July 31, at 2:00 p.m. (ET), the day after the debut of ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW, director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders will participate in a live Q&A. Questions can be submitted now at

For more information on the documentary, visit: Facebook:; and Twitter: @HBODocs #aboutface. 

HBO Documentary Films presents A Perfect Day Films Production; a film by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders; produced by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Chad Thompson; executive produced by Tommy Walker and Michael Slap Sloane; directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders; original music by Neal Evans, Sebastian Blanck & M.L. Perlman; edited by Benjamin Gray; title paintings and animation by Sebastian Blanck. For HBO: supervising producer, Lisa Heller; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

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