Beauty Is Embarrassing (2012) Poster

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Raw Honesty Screws Artistic Genius
djdavig15 September 2012
This movie is a phenomenal experience for anyone interested in art of any kind. I saw it at the new Sundance Sunset in West Hollywood, a wonderful place, and rarely do we get such a blatantly honest lookinside the mind and life history of an artistic genius as well the worlds he currently lives and works in.

I say worlds plural because Wayne has traversed many of them in his long and highly successful career, including three Emmys, and inhabits several of them still. If Wayne wasn't so scrupulously honest about his emotions he might be a wealthier man but that he always sticks to his guns is what makes him a great artist and a better person. No doubt his fellow genius wife had a lot to do with that. Thus my title, get it?

As a writer I enjoyed it immensely and found his rebirth as a rock star painter/poet to be uniquely inspiring. Watching the critics say "where the hell did this guy come from?" was priceless for anyone languishing to create something great while getting little recognition for it. Meeting him after the showing proved to be as funny and heartwarming as seeing him on the big screen. Do what you love well, have fun, make beauty, and never quit and the rest of it will work out!! Thanks again Wayne!
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Inspiration and Laughs
jeheneberry21 September 2012
Really love this film—Wayne is a character and a talent. His creations, his drive, and his independent spirit are truly inspiring.

It's great to see how other people like Matt Groening, Paul Reubens, and more recognize the creativity and influence that Wayne had. Also, mixing in footage from Wayne's stage show telling his life story is a great technique.

Definitely recommended, for those interested in art and for everyone else who wants to be inspired to follow their passions.

Also, Wayne's word paintings are awesome.

Plus, what other movie has a LBJ puppet head?
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Unique and Rather Fascinating Documentary
larrys319 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I found this documentary, directed by Neil Berkeley, to be unique and rather fascinating. It covers the work and life of Wayne White, who describes himself as a painter, sculptor, cartoonist, puppeteer, set designer, art director, animator, and illustrator.

There isn't much question in my mind that White was a child artistic prodigy. His parents Willie and Billy June describe him as quite fixated in just sitting and drawing from a very early age.

Born in the rural town of Sand Mountain, Alabama it seemed White had a tough go of it as a kid with his artistic bent. He became very rebellious and was arrested for stealing a mail box at one point. Finally, at Middle Tennessee State College he met some kindred spirits who were into the creative arts and their bonding helped him immensely.

The story of how he met his wife Mimi was fascinating to me. After taking a big culture shock risk and moving to New York City he was ready to pack it in. They met after one of his puppet shows, and there was an instant attraction, love at first sight if you may. Mimi was already a star in the comic world. They have been going strong now for 27 years of marriage, with Mimi being the perfect steadying force for him.

After they began living together, White was selected among 400 applicants to work as a set designer and puppeteer for a new television show to be named Pee-wee's Playhouse. The show, which ran from 1986-1990 gave White the perfect format for his genius and creativeness. The scenes of the set and puppets from the Playhouse were remarkable.

When the show ended, White really struggled with trying to fit into the Hollywood culture and suffered mentally as a result. Amazingly, he transformed his talents into a completely different area. Buying scenic paintings from thrift shops he began to add huge block lettered clever quips and phrases, some of which are very very bawdy. Although, I personally found only some of them to be funny, there are many people who really love them. White placed them first in a local coffee shop and they began to get noticed and sell. In time, he had a major book deal illustrating his work, as well as being shown in art galleries.

This success has led to his appearing at book signings and talks across the country. There were two moving scenes in the film at these appearances. One was his father, who White describes as very stoic, just crying openly at one of Wayne's songs. The other was when he was approached by a woman asking for him to sign her book. When he asked who she wanted the dedication to be addressed to she said his first grade teacher. White was stunned that his teacher was there, whom in the early segments of the movie he had shown in a class picture and mentioned that he had "loved" her and how supportive she was to him.

All in all, I was rather amazed at the talents of White, who could make a sculpture out of just twigs and junk. However, I also found his life's path to be truly interesting and I learned quite a bit as well.

One note of caution: For anyone offended by very raw language this may not be the movie for you. The "f" word and others are spoken or shown countless times throughout the film.
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You Don't Know His Name…But Probably His Work…Dynamo Wayne White
LeonLouisRicci20 July 2016
A Straightforward, No-Frills Documentary about "Gonzo" Artist Wayne White that goes Off the Rails Immediately when White Shows Up, Starts Talking and Showing His "Wild and Crazy" Art.

Not a Household Name but His Work is sure to have been Seen in many a Households. An Emmy Winning Puppeteer on "Pee-Wee's Playhouse", and the Set Designer for the Award Winning "Smashing Pumpkins" Video, "Tonight Tonight". He's also done Art for TV Commercials, like the "Old Spice" Spot, featuring Bruce Campbell.

More Recently He is making a "Name" for Himself in some Art Circles with "Found" Art Recreations of Thrift Store Bought Landscape Paintings, where He adds Block Letter Slogans (sometimes lewd and profane).

The Film is Hosted by Wayne as He Tells His Life Story, Warts and All. Once on Top in Hollywood, after the Cancellation of "Pee-Wee", He found Himself Struggling to get Work that didn't involve Greuling Isolation like "One Man Animation". According to Wayne an Impossible Task.

After a bout with Breakdowns and Mental Illness, Wayne White Recovered and now does Tours Promoting His Work with an Amusing Stage and AV Show. He is Happy living with His Wife of Many Years, Underground Comic Book Artist, Mimi Pond, and is as Creative as Ever.

This is a Funny and Touching Portrait of the Artist with much Self-Deprecation and an equal Amount of Rage and Disdain for what's Considered "Art" in the "Art World". A Multi-Talented Man that Reached the Highs and Lows of His Lifelong Obsession with Art and has the Statues and Scars to Prove it.

Highly Recommended for Lovers of Primitive Art, or any Art for that matter, and to Look In on a Man who went from the Hillbilly Life in Alabama to the Hollywood Hipster Scene and Back. He's got a lot to Say about Art and has the Talent to pull it off in an Amusement of Style.
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I hated it, my friend loved it. Depends on your tastes I guess.
wherestheltrain25 September 2012
I'm an artist and I went to see this movie last week with a friend of mine who's also an artist. I'm a cartoonist/illustrator, and my friend designs avant garde costumes. I didn't hate the movie, but it wasn't worth the price of admission, and I don't think I would be missing out if I never saw it in the first place. My friend would disagree, he loved it and is encouraging everyone to see it. Where I found it only moderately inspiring, he felt deeply motivated to create more art. I watch a lot of docs, and normally I turn them off if they suck. I would have turned this off if I could have. I guess it's just not everyone's cup of tea.
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debartosik27 June 2018
If you identify with being an artist, worth watching.
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