We've been big fans of Wayne White since the 1980s. Ok, we maybe didn't actually know who Wayne White was in the 1980s, but our memories of the set of Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Peter Gabriel's video "Big Time" were seminal ones. And so when we actually did learn who Wayne White was several years ago, and discovered that--even cooler!--he was a Chattanooga native, we were hooked.
White's art is amazing--smart and quirky--so we're not surprised that someone set out to make a documentary about the man. What we are surprised by is that Downtown West will actually be showing the movie Beauty Is Embarrassing this coming week, squeezed in between 2016: Obama's America and Atlas Shrugged: Part II (the latter of which also opens Friday). Even better, White himself will be speaking in between the Friday evening showings!
If you've never heard of Wayne White before, this Oxford American interview is a good place to start. (The magazine also had a great profile of White in 2006 or so, but it's not on the website.) And for more information about the movie coming to town, you can read the full press release below:
Beauty Is Embarrassing, the funny, irreverent, joyful and inspiring documentary featuring the life and current times of one of America's most important artists and East Tennessee native, Wayne White, opens October 12 with a personal appearance by the artist hisself.The film will be shown at the Regal Downtown West Cinema 8, Friday, October 12 - Thursday October 18, with artist Wayne White conducting a Q & A session on opening night between the 7:20 and 10:15 showings. To view showtimes and ticket prices, go to http://www.fandango.com/beautyisembarrassing_156682/movietimes?date=10%2F12%2F2012ABOUT THE FILMPart biography, part live performance, Beauty Is Embarrassing tells the irreverent and inspiring story of this one-of-a-kind visual artist and raconteur. The film traces White's childhood growing up in Chattanooga, TN, his art studies at MTSU, and his career from an underground cartoonist in New York's East Village to his big break as a designer, puppeteer and voice-over actor on Pee-wee's Playhouse for which he won three Emmy's It follows Wayne's success designing and animating for other children's shows like Beakman's World and music videos for The Smashing Pumpkins ("Tonight, Tonight") and Peter Gabriel ("Big Time") through a dark period of struggle and self-reflection before emerging in his present-day incarnation as a respected painter and performer.The film, like White, embraces the ragged edges and messy contradictions of life, art, and family with rabid humor and honesty. At its core Beauty Is Embarrassing is a reminder that we should all follow our passion and that its those creative impulses that will lead us to where we need to go.ACCLAIMThe film has received numerous accolades and critical acclaim. The New York Times says "the creativity grows like kudzu in Beauty Is Embarrassing", and movie critic Leonard Maltin says "It's one of the most pleasurable movie going experiences I've had this year." Los Angeles Magazine says "This movie ought to be required viewing, not just for Oscar voters but for every aspiring artist wondering how to build a life doing what they love."Beauty is Embarrassing has been featured at prominent film festivals, including those in Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Nashville, and at SXSW.