Scratch the Surface

Scratch the Surface

Director: Tara Fitzpatrick

Cast: Brooke Shields, Phoebe Cates, Whitney Houston

     
 
Tara Fitzpatrick's documentary on the lives of models, Scratch the Surface, comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. Supplemental materials include the trailer, and an interview with the director. This is a fine release from

Overview

Tara Fitzpatrick's documentary on the lives of models, Scratch the Surface, comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. Supplemental materials include the trailer, and an interview with the director. This is a fine release from Vanguard that should be of interest to anyone with a curiosity about the subject matter.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Tara Fitzpatrick's Scratch the Surface captures a few insights into the world of teen modeling, but as its title suggests, it never delves deeply enough into its subject. Because Fitzpatrick, a former teen model, focuses on the experiences of her friends and family, and doesn't include a perspective from anyone outside the business, the film doesn't work as an exposé or as a thoughtful critique of the fashion industry. But Scratch the Surface doesn't really work as personal filmmaking either. Though she claims that the former models interviewed (including Whitney Houston, Brooke Shields, and Phoebe Cates) are her "friends," there's never any real sense of camaraderie among them. They never seem to be any more than former co-workers in a business that set them in competition against each other. The most insightful of the models interviewed is Valerie Cates, who didn't start modeling until she was inspired by her younger sister, Phoebe. Having started her career at a later age, she also comes closest to having an outsider's perspective. This suggests that a broader view of the subject would have been more informative. The film is haphazardly edited. Every time a subject begins to tell an amusing or interesting story, the filmmaker cuts to a snippet of another interview before returning to the anecdote, which lessens its impact. It's also not clear why Fitzpatrick chose to make her film in black-and-white, but one suspects that it was to impart her film with an unearned seriousness. Scratch the Surface is a sporadically enjoyable, but sloppily made documentary that relies too heavily on its audience's fascination with the very superficiality it means to critique. Youth and beauty are indeed overvalued in American culture, and Scratch the Surface is more another symptom than it is a meaningful analysis of the phenomenon.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/27/2002
UPC:
0658769200638
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
NR
Source:
Vanguard Cinema
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:18:00

Special Features

Trailer ; Interview with director

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brooke Shields Actor
Phoebe Cates Actor
Whitney Houston Actor
Pam Gidley Actor
Lisanne Falk Actor
Tracy Fitzpatrick Actor
Valerie Cates Actor
Eileen Ford Actor
John Casablancas Actor

Technical Credits
Tara Fitzpatrick Director,Musical Direction/Supervision,Producer,Screenwriter
Phil Abraham Cinematographer
Niels Alpert Cinematographer
Robert Bennett Cinematographer
Michael Bloecher Editor
Sarah Cawley Cinematographer
Joseph P. Finnegan Executive Producer
Billie Fitzpatrick Screenwriter
Tracy Fitzpatrick-Finnegan Co-producer
Trish Govoni Cinematographer
Adam Joseph Sound/Sound Designer
Judy Karp Sound/Sound Designer
Kyle Kibbe Cinematographer
Ellen Kuras Cinematographer
Milena Poylo Producer
Billie Ryan Walsh Executive Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Intro [3:08]
2. Family [6:35]
3. Youth [6:38]
4. Work [13:48]
5. Beauty [13:46]
6. Power [17:25]
7. Wisdom [9:31]
8. Credits [3:38]

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