Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield was in Woods Hole this week, this year’s “Artist in Residence” and invited guest of the Woods Hole Film Festival. Greenfield screened her hot new film “Queen of Versailles” to a sold-out crowd at Redfield Auditorium on Sunday night.
“Queen of Versailles” won the prestigious best-director award at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and is being released in theaters by Magnolia Pictures this month. This cutting edge documentary follows the riches-to-rags story of billionaires Jackie and David Siegel, who were building the largest house in America before the crash of 2008 left them scrambling and in debt. This piercing look into the underbelly of consumerism uncovers the innate virtues and flaws of the American dream.
Greenfield’s work encompasses both documentary film and still photography, where her incisive eye has earned her awards, accolades and inclusion in a number of fine museums and private collections. Since 1991, her photographs have been regularly published in magazines including the New York Times Magazine, Time, Vanity Fair, People, National Geographic, and The New Yorker.
Patrons of the Woods Hole Film Festival were treated to a “master class” with Greenfield on Tuesday afternoon. In a two-hour session, she traced the roots of her work back to her undergraduate years at Harvard, and made connections with images about beauty culture (the subject of a documentary of the same title), current youth obsession with money (“kids + money” a short documentary from 2008) and our relationship to celebrity and fame. Greenfield also screened “Thin” – her 2006 documentary and book project for HBO chronicling the emotional reality of life within the halls of a residential treatment center for eating disorders.
Greenfield and her husband Frank Evers (executive producer of “Queen of Versailles” as well as founder of the photo agency Institute for Artist’s Management) were staying at the Woods Hole Inn with their two kids for the week. They were spotted at lunch at Quicks Hole, exploring Great Harbor in an outboard, and at dinner at both the Landfall and Fishmonger Café.
“I just love Woods Hole!” crowed Greenfield, who assured this reporter she would return to our little village one day soon.
May we be so lucky!