‘Beauty is Embarrassing’ DVD Review
Wayne White is probably a name you don’t know. But…maybe it is a name you should. Even if his accomplishments aren’t as well-known, his life story, particularly his artistic drive, is worth knowing. Beauty is Embarrassing is a documentary on his life, and it wisely takes a more minimalistic approach to defining art. The result? It’s a fun story about going after your dreams and doing things you love.
As an artist, art director, and illustrator, White’s line of work includes Pee-wee’s Playhouse (where he won three Emmy’s), Shining Time Station, The Weird Al Show, and Beakman’s World. He also helped out with music videos, making him closer to a household name. Eventually, he realized he didn’t love Hollywood. He cared less about illustrating and animating. He decided to leave the business.
He eventually landed comfortably as an artist. Today, he’s more known for his word art, where he cleverly scatters words and phrases over interesting backdrops. Comedy, something that has always been a part of his life, became his avenue for expressing art. On a more serious note, he proclaims “beauty is embarrassing” because true beauty embarrasses the ones that can’t attain it.
Wayne White believes you can attain this beauty and it’s not something you should be embarrassed about. You should embrace it because it’s something you truly love to do.
This idea is the universal force behind his life story, his one-man shows, his word paintings, and this documentary. It’s a goal he believes all humans should strive towards. And you know what? He’s probably right.
As a strictly “art” documentary, art purists may not connect as well with what he has to say about the industry. He’s doesn’t take the typical “snob” approach to what is and what isn’t art. Instead, he presents it with a more surrealistic approach.
Personally, this works best for me.
It was released on DVD earlier this year (it unfortunately didn’t get a very wide theatrical release) and it’s full of extras that fill-in-the-gaps of the shorter run time. At 88 minutes, it feels about perfect length, progressing his life from start to present.
The extras most worth it are probably the Largo bits because it shows his one-man show in its entirety. As a whole, this does a sufficient job telling Wayne’s life story.
The actual DVD is a little better because it goes into his relationships a lot more as well as his struggles. Like any typical story, there is a rise and a fall, and while Beauty is Embarrassing is overall more happy than not, it still goes into the downfalls of the industry.
The rest of the bonus features include:
Audio Commentary with Director Neil Berkeley and Wayne White – If the story wasn’t enough as is, there are more nuggets of interesting information for the taking with the commentary.
Full Screen Slideshow Featuring Original Wayne White Art – A quick slideshow of his famous word art.
Wayne’s Complete One-Man Show – During the documentary, they show snippets of his one-man show, but the whole thing from start to finish can be watched. It isn’t full of background narration, but the content is a lot like the documentary feature.
Wayne Performing “Blue Ridge Mountain Blues” – As if he wasn’t artistically-talented enough, Wayne also plays the bango and sings!
Mike Quinn Performing “Country Boy in Paradise” – This is more focused on the comedy part of the story, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.
About Docurama – A text-only look at the company behind the release.
Beauty is Embarrassing is the story of a “normal guy” that can do everything he loves because he wants to. In a day of waning positivism, Wayne’s story is one that all artists should throw on when they’re in a rut. Much like Tales of the Night – but more about art than storytelling – money is a resource that shouldn’t get in the way of what you want to do. When all is said and done, isn’t that all that matters?
Beauty is Embarrassing is now available on DVD; check stores near you for a copy!
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