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No secret: the New York art scene is full of whiners and poseurs and, talent notwithstanding, more than a few major pains in the ass. But it's still hard to sort out just whose ego sticks out the furthest in the quirky film memoir Guest of Cindy Sherman, a controversial verité in which filmmaker Paul H-O (short for Hasegawa-Overacker), host of New York's public access program GalleryBeat and eventual beau of superstar artist Cindy Sherman, plays a major role. As their relationship progresses onscreen, H-O documents his own personality crisis, brought on by living in the shadow of Sherman, the more compelling figure. Known for her photographic self-portraits in an unending variety of roles, Sherman broke up with H-O over the film and has publicly distanced herself from it. A weeklong run at the Starz FilmCenter, where Guest debuted as part of the Starz Denver Film Festival last year, ends tomorrow.
"What I find interesting is that she's not at all the way we perceive her from her photography," notes Starz programming manager Keith Garcia of Sherman's onscreen persona. "She actually seems like a sweet gal, and it's interesting to see how she gets rolled into the relationship that forms the arc of the movie." Guest, he adds, is fascinating in the way it lifts the cover off Sherman and other artists in her milieu.