In a five month journey photographing nudes in every state, the critically acclaimed film Naked States follows artist Spencer Tunick?s quest to photograph nudes in public settings across the country. Naked States is a vis... more »ual American odyssey that brings« less
A well done documentary about Mr. Tunick and his unique work
Jose N. Olivera | Miami, FL United States | 10/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found out about Mr. Tunick's work from an article in Wired. The photographs are interesting studies in how the human body can be used to create a unique work of art. I found the documentary to be very interesting as I got to see how such work is accomplished and the kind of difficulties that he has experienced in New York City with those who would consider the nude human body to be obscene or something that needs to be covered at all times.
It was also great to be able to listen to the actual participants of these events and get their reactions to the whole experience and how liberating it was to pose nude for Mr. Tunick. It was especially touching listening to the poor lady who had been physically attacked 6 months prior to the photo shoot and how posing nude for Mr. Tunick was therapeutic to her and helped her to regain a positive self image of herself.
I also have to give Mr. Tunick a medal for his courage to ask people to pose for him at a biker convention. This part of the film was an excellent documentation as to how people have such pre-conceived notions of the nude human body and the negativety he experienced until he became better known.
I hope that Mr. Tunick decides to do a photo shoot in my neck of the woods soon as I would love to be able to pose for him. By the way, he has a official website where you can provide your email address and sign up to be informed of upcoming photoshoots and maybe pose as well.
Definitely I recommend this DVD. I hope the sequel "Naked World" is released in DVD format as well soon. I would love to see the one about the shoot in which there were 7,000 partipants. It must have been an amazing experience to behold."
Intriguing look at this artist's work
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very interesting and enlightening look at Spencer Tunick and his work. It's incredible to see how he clearly has an idea of what the images should look like, but even as they're being constructed in front of the documentary camera it's difficult to see his vision -- it only becomes really clear when the final print is viewed. The documentary itself is "camcorder-gritty" and that works for the most part, but I would've liked more detail in places. This documentary is also a fun look at the widely-varied people of the United States. This is definitely a film I will recommend to others."
Doco Exposing An Artist's Naked Ambition
BD Ashley | Otago, New Zealand | 04/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"NAKED STATES is a fascinating documentary about New York photographer/artist Spencer Tunick as he embarks on his "Naked States" tour, getting people from every state to shed their clothes all for the sake of art. Tunick just picks regular people off the street to model for his photos. You've got to admire these people; figuratively speaking, I wouldn't have the balls to do something like that. Not surprisingly the moralists manage to get him arrested in several states for "aiding and abetting disorderly conduct". Ironically, Tunick is listed on the DVD profile as being "notoriously private"! And despite his hunger for publicity he doesn't want the tabloids to cover his art as he feels they will cheapen its merit!
Even just seeing the different backgrounds and personalities of his subjects is fascinating. There's an amusing scene of a tough biker guy getting aggro at Tunick when Tunick asks his daughter to pose for him, and another subject is a rape victim being photographed as part of her healing process. One photo even shows the twin towers of the WTC in the background (Yes, I DO notice other things when there are naked women in view!). It's also good to see that Tunick is willing to strip too to get his work done, as we see when he photographs several thousand people at a Phish concert. The finished pictures look amazing. I found it funny how the news item on the doco censored the nudity- especially when on any other day you see gruesome war footage and the like. This would probably never happen in NZ (Unless the artist was Maori, Helen Clark just can't say "No" to them). NAKED STATES is highly recommended. The only extra with the Australasian DVD is a written profile of Tunick, but it's still worth seeing."
BD Ashley | 12/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was afraid that this film might turn out to be just a cheesy, cheap exploitation flick, but I was pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be a great documentary, very tasteful and intelligent. The filmmaker avoids cliches and stereotypes and shows Tunick as a real human being with real flaws, like his obsessiveness, his anxiety, his ambition for status in the art world. It was fascinating to see the behind-scenes work that went into organizing the various photo shoots, all the various diificulties and struggles that Tunick and his associates went through in order to make Tunick's strange personal vision a reality. It was also extremely interesting to hear the various models talk about their experiences in the photo shoots, and how some of them found the experience to be unexpectedly liberating and/or therapeutic. All in all one of the most interesting documentaries I've ever seen. It's led me to look at Spencer Tunick's photography in a whole new light."
A captivating experience
danANC | anchorage, ak | 01/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While good reviewing technique seems to suggest that ones should write a summary of the item being reviewed, it seems unlikely that you'd be here if you didn't know what Naked States is about, so, just this quick summary: Spencer Tunick road-trips through the contiguous 48 states photographing nudes in public, and this documentary follows him, his girlfriend, and occasional crew through the process. The result is, indeed, captivating. Tunick manages to take public nudity, an almost completely taboo subject, and make it accessible to a wide audience. This is no peep show for sexual gratification: it would be a waste of money and time, and devalue one of the most worthwhile aspects of the documentary and Tunick's work: the human body is beautiful, and fascinating, and both works manage to make the body something to be considered, and viewed as art, rather than something to be ashamed of, and run from. That said, if you or your viewing partners are easily embarassed by nudity, proceed with caution, as nearly every scene contains it. One interesting difficulty encountered in reviewing a 'docudrama' such as this is whether to focus on the documentary, or the underlying subject matter. I'm mostly writing about Spencer Tunick's work, i.e., the subject matter, but it's worth noting that the documentary quality is high, maintains the viewer's attention, and doesn't rely too heavily on the 'shocking' nature of the subject matter to surprise, but rather presents it in an even-handed way, and allows the viewer to go along for the ride. Other, minor, notes/gripes: the brief interviews with Tunick's girlfriend, who seems to comfort some (many?) of the females who are solicited to have their pictures taken nude, were too brief. She seems to occupy a tense space in this venture: Spencer as occasionally ego-driven, occasionally humble artist; she as foil, legitimacy, grounding device. Perhaps too much time was spent on a few major events/places (it seems that almost half the movie was spent in three places: the Phish concert, the nudist colony, and Burning Man.) Burning Man provided an interesting visual contrast, though: the documentary camera focused several times on the huge sign that reads "NO SPECTATORS", while we, as documentary viewers, are exactly that. It also provided an interesting glimpse into this rarely-reported festival in the Nevada desert, though this wasn't apprently a major purpose. As a photographer, I found the color, real-life models and their beautiful surroundings, and the edited-in, black-and-white final photographs of them to be a fascinating contrast. (Which goes to the eternal struggle of the photographer: how to make something stay real and vibrant in still-motion.) The additional, and much more raw, documentary included as a DVD extra was also interesting, and worthwhile viewing. It included nealry a start-to-finish photo shoot in Central Park's Strawberry Fields, and lots of gushy comments about how the model-particiapnts think John Lennon would've approved of Tunick's work. Overall: a VERY worthwhile view, which will make you think, and laugh, and give you plenty of conversation fodder. (I checked it out from the library, but I wouldn't have been disappointed had I paid for it.)"