Founded in 2010, Nowness is a video channel premiering the best in global arts and culture.
The channel’s programming strategy has established it as the go to source of inspiration and influence across art, design, fashion, beauty, music, food, and travel. They work with both established and emerging filmmakers which connect their audience to emotional and sensorial stories designed to provoke inspiration and debate.
The #DefineBeauty Series collects videos created for “unpicking the politics and prejudices of attraction”.
#1 – Define Beauty: Les Fleurs by Saam Farahmand
Director Saam Farahmand heats up the body hair debate.
“One of the things I appreciate most about female beauty is what’s commonly appreciated the least” says Saam Farahmand of his ode to body hair that launches NOWNESS’ new five-part series #DefineBeauty. “I wanted to find something about women that was almost unanimously disliked.” The transformation of the female form from hairless ideal to glorious natural state is set to the rousing score of Minnie Riperton’s “Les Fleurs”.
“There was something so affecting about Minnie Riperton’s ability to breathe her gender—she speaks to female sexuality in a way that seems to exclude male consideration” says the London-based filmmaker.
#2 – Define Beauty: My Scars by Matthew Donaldson
Each disrupted surface has a story to tell: a heavily scarred man and his lover share their intimate thoughts in Matthew Donaldson’s “My Scars”.
Matthew Donaldson illuminates the narrative function of scars in this stripped-back portrait of British photographer Sam Barker, accompanied by intimate reflections from his lover.
#3 – Define Beauty: Beyond the Skin by Jonas Åkerlund
Director Jonas Åkerlund takes model Shaun Ross on a hyperkinetic trip through LA.
“Hollywood is so good at only seeing what’s on the outside, and using that first impression instead of going deeper” says Jonas Åkerlund of the location of the final film in the #DefineBeauty series, in which he follows American model and actor Shaun Ross around the back streets and freeways of Los Angeles. “I think Shaun has spent all his life with those reactions. Look again and you see that this guy is really beautiful.”
His gothic style is apparent in today’s portrait of the famed albino model, who recently starred in Lana Del Rey’s 30 minute film, Tropico. “When Shaun showed up on Hollywood Boulevard, Darth Vader and Mickey Mouse were affronted” the filmmaker says of filming Ross. “Like, ‘What the fuck is this guy doing here?”.