Has anyone ever seen this movie before? As a somewhat reluctant subscriber of Netflix, sometimes I find myself aimlessly browsing for something that looks at least entertaining enough to hold my mild interest as I do other things around the house.
Some people would call this background noise.
But anyhoo, if you’ve ever seen the mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous starring Kirstie Alley, Kirstin Dunst, Denise Richards and many other A-listers you’ll know that it’s a one of a kind hilarious movie filled with deep undertones of sexuality, identity, and parenting issues.
It’s one of those movies that was just good enough that of course, Netflix wouldn’t have it available to stream.
But interestingly enough, I found another mockumentary of the same title, but with very different themes indeed.
Drop Dead Gorgeous starring Steven Berkhoff, Jeremy London, Ivy Levan and others is about a model who dies of an overdose during a photoshoot, and the instantaneous decision of all those involved to continue using the dead model’s body in the shoot as something “edgy, artsy,” and “bound to blow people’s minds”. Of course something so shocking isn’t met with loud applause and roses thrown, but I was drawn into the film in how “alive” the model looked, and it was with horror that I suddenly realized just how lifeless and dead models look nowadays in “modern” high fashion advertising.
With a smirk instead of a smile, dead pan eyes staring at a space beyond the camera, and limbs awkwardly propped up at odd angles, it isn’t hard to imagine that half of the world’s supermodels could be dead….
and we would never even know it.
Which was such an interesting theme in this movie! How can a model, a human being, a living, breathing person, be worth more dead, than alive? And how can her body be so desecrated and violated in the name of art and fashion? And how sad that after the fact, some of the people working on the “fashion project” agreed that more models should be dead, as they are easier to work with that way!
This movie had plenty of mental fodder indeed.
Isn’t it strange to think that the girl who has “the look” that all models aspire towards, is dead? That we fetishize and capitalize on the weird and the kinky, and that even in death nothing is sacred in terms of “art” or “commercialism”. There’s always a line to cross, someone to disgust, and as they say, any publicity is good publicity.
Take men’s fashion designer Duncan Quinn for example. In 2008 he put an Ad in magazines depicting a man in a suit holding a tie that is tied around a nearly naked, assumed dead girl, who is sprawled across the hood of his car with blood leaking from her head.
Now, is it only me or do other people find it puzzling how such a graphic, dominating and violent image is supposed to sell men’s suits?
It certainly got Quinn a lot of attention, possibly boosting his suit business amid the cry for his destruction. And isn’t it sad that this is considered advertising, and even art?
It’s just what made Drop Dead Gorgeous a very sharp and accurate criticism of our culture of violence and sex being intermixed, that the most beautiful girl is the one with a dead pan expression; that beauty is sharp bones, empty eyes, and a cruelly drooping mouth.