Celebrated Supermodels Reveal their Fears and Secrets to Aging and a Controversial Look at Violence in the Closed World of Gypsies Kick Off the Passionate Eye's 20th Season

Sep 17, 2012


The 20th season of The Passionate Eye premieres Sunday, Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBC News Network

September 17, 2012 - Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall, and Isabella Rosselini…they were some of the highest paid supermodels of the twentieth century. Now older and wiser, these iconic beauties speak frankly about the business of beauty.

“What people called sexual harassment, we called compliments says former supermodel Paulina Porizkova. A favorite at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, About Face: The Real Lives of Supermodels peers fearlessly into an industry that worships youth and at the women who survived the pressures of overnight stardom.

About Face: The Real Lives of Supermodels airs on CBC News Network’s THE PASSIONATE EYE, Sunday, Sept. 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

“Well, if you had the ceiling falling down in your living room, would you not go and have a repair?” replies former model and actor Carmen Dell’Orefice to a question about cosmetic surgery. While Jerry Hall responds to life’s progress, “Of course it’s no fun getting old and sick and dying. We all know that’s coming and it’s a bore. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to age? When I turned 50, I felt a sense of achievement.”

ABOUT FACE was filmed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders in his trademark intimate portrait style, and features interviews with Carol Alt, Marisa Berenson, Karen Bjornson, Christie Brinkley, Pat Cleveland, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Jerry Hall, Bethann Hardison, Beverly Johnson, China Machado, Paulina Porizkova, Isabella Rossellini, Lisa Taylor and Cheryl Tiegs. Filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders is available for interviews from New York.

Airing Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and Saturday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, Gypsy Blood: Born to Fight explores the notoriously closed world of Gypsies and the legacy of violence handed down through generations of fathers to their sons.

“I’ll kill him, I’ll kill a man. I’ll kill his two sons and I’ll kill him.” Those are the words of Fred Butcher, a career fighter who wants revenge after a brutal beating by fellow Gypsies captured by award-winning photographer Leo Maguire who spent four years earning the trust of the notoriously closed gypsy and traveller communities.

With unprecedented and intimate access, Maguire produces a searing portrait of fathers and sons, raised to prove themselves in bare-knuckle fights. They explain their lives in their own words, with the brutal realities portrayed through stunning footage and incredible still photographs. A far different perspective on gypsy life from the big fat weddings and flash caravans, the film follows the story of two families, showing how they fight for respect and revealing the price they pay—the cycles of revenge that erupt into sudden and terrifying violence.

Gypsy Blood is a haunting study of masculinity and violence, and the uneasy, equivocal relationship gypsy men have with their epic, bare-knuckle traditions. As Hughie Doherty said: “It is like a disease, a disease that gets into your blood. And sometimes you close your eyes and for that moment I wish I wasn’t like it, but you can’t help it.”

Secrets of Modern Spies and Modern Spies: License to Kill?
From James Bond to Jason Bourne, the fictional world of spying is a world of danger and deception, glamour and lies. As the world prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, THE PASSIONATE EYE presents a two-part series investigating the 21st century world of espionage. It features rare interviews with current British intelligence officers and key figures from the CIA, FBI, and Israeli intelligence. How does the world of agent 007 compare with reality? With unrivalled access to the players in this shadowy and dangerous profession and with gripping firsthand accounts from agents, informers and handlers, the series investigates some of the most important and controversial spy stories of today.

Secrets of Modern Spies (ep. 1/2) airs Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT; repeats Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. ET
Today, spies are in demand as never before and the job has changed dramatically since the Cold War.  For the first time on television, serving British secret agents talk about their work as Secrets of Modern Spies investigates how today’s spies are recruited and trained and probes the secrets of espionage, from the sleeper cell to the honey trap, to some of the most recent tactics in the spy world.  Produced and directed by Mike Rudin for BBC.

Modern Spies: License to Kill? (ep. 2/2) airs Saturday, Oct. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT; repeats Sunday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. ET
Serving members of the security services talk about how their work can help prevent terrorist attacks. In a series of exclusive interviews, the documentary looks into the big questions, asking when does an undercover operation cross the line and become entrapment—and do spies have a license to kill? Produced & Directed by Chris Alcock. Series Producer is Mike Rudin for BBC. 

Being Elmo airs Sunday, Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Sesame Street’s Elmo is an international icon, but few people know the inspirational story of his creator, Kevin Clash, who dreamed of working with his idol, master puppeteer Jim Henson. Every day, millions tune in to Sesame Street to see one of the world’s most adored and recognizable characters—a furry red monster named Elmo. Yet, with all of Elmo’s fame, the man behind the icon is able to walk down the street without being recognized. Combining amazing archival footage with material from the present day, filmmaker Constance Marks explores Kevin’s story in vivid detail and chronicles the meteoric rise of Jim Henson in the process.

Winner of numerous film festival awards including a Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Being Elmo is directed by Constance Marks and produced by Constance Marks, Corinne LaPook and James Miller. The film is co-directed by Philip Shane and written and edited by Philip Shane and Justin Weinstein.

For more information on THE PASSIONATE EYE, visit our website at cbc.ca/passionateeye, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/cbcdocs.


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