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CATWALK CHRONICLES: By now, most people know that modeling as a glamorous career is more of a myth than reality. “About Face,” a documentary, portrays a group of Seventies- and Eighties-era models as survivors, blessed with beauty, yet condemned by society’s less-than-tolerant view of aging and its relentless celebration of youth. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, who first photographed the models for a group portrait for Vanity Fair, wanted to delve deeper into their stories. 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 and Lisa Taylor shared with Greenfield-Sanders their career highs and lows and personal disappointments. Kim Alexis, Nancy Donahue, Esmé Marshall, Eileen Ford, Dayle Haddon, Cheryl Tiegs, Christy Turlington and Calvin Klein also appear in the film. Sundance Film Festival on Monday revealed that “About Face” will have its premiere at the festival, which will be held Jan. 19 to 29. “About Face” will air on HBO in the summer.
In the film, Rossellini says modeling taught her it was “essential not to depend on fathers and husbands.” Porizkova got a twisted take on praise. “What people called sexual harassment, we called compliments,” she said in the film. “When a 16-year-old girl is flattered by a man pulling out his penis, that’s noteworthy.”
This story first appeared in the December 6, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.