by Laura Hutson
I've been waiting for this trailer ever since Wayne White told me about it last time he was in town — at the opening for Slow Burn, an exhibit he mounted alongside Kurt Wagner at Zeitgeist. (I wrote a review of that show here, but if you want a real tutorial on White, check out Ridley's 2009 cover story on him.)
Beauty Is Embarrassing is the feature-length debut of filmmaker Neil Berkeley, and it looks like a comprehensive, hilarious, in-depth portrait of the man responsible for the playfully surreal aesthetic of of Pee-Wee's Playhouse and the look of award-winning music videos such as Peter Gabriel's "Big Time" and Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight" — not to mention basically an entire generation's idea of what big, block-lettered, tongue-in-cheek design looks like.
The doc features interviews with everyone from Paul Reubens to Todd Oldham, who published the gorgeous coffee-table book of White's work a few years ago. Look for further coverage of the film in upcoming Scene issues, and of course here on Country Life.