Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman Steps into the Spotlight at Doc Soup

Cindy Sherman is no doubt wondering what she ever saw in Paul H-O. In this month's installment of the Doc Soup screening series, Guest of Cindy Sherman co-director and protagonist Paul H-O (Paul Hasegawa-Overacker) gives his account of dating the darling of the New York art world.

Making light of the New York City gallery scene, H-O's early guerrilla reporting documents a time when prominent artists like Julian Schnabel were emerging. The goofy host of Gallery Beat, a public access art show, met the famous photographer at one of her openings in the late 1990s.

The pair developed a rapport after H-O pursued Sherman for interviews. He endeared himself to the very private artist and got candid insight into her studio and creative process (this footage of the budding romance turns up in the documentary). Hooking up with Cindy Sherman gave Paul access to premiere arts events, trips to L.A. and London, and a lot of material.

The film takes shape midway through when H-O goes on a tiresome whine about how Sherman gets all the attention (see video below). Towards the end of the relationship, Gallery Beat had run its course and Paul had failed to take his career to the next level. Cindy, on the other hand, was a bigger art star than ever. Although Sherman was initially supportive when he decided to turn his insecurities about being her "plus one" into a shtick, by the time the film first screened at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, she had issued a public statement distancing herself from the project.

Paul H-O might be a crummy ex-boyfriend, but his doc is very entertaining - it has it all: comedy, romance, celebrity interviews, and insight into a very exclusive world.

"Famous Girlfriend" clip from Guest of Cindy Sherman:

Guest of Cindy Sherman screens Wednesday, March 11, 6:30 and 9:15 p.m. at the Bloor Cinema, followed by a Q & A with directors Paul Hasegawa-Overacker and Tom Donahue.


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