Documentary bares story behind ‘Naked Las Vegas’ book

Who in their right mind would pose naked for a photo book?

Photographer Greg Friedler’s 2008 book “Naked Las Vegas” displayed 75 Las Vegans in their garmentless glory. But by listing only his subjects’ ages and occupations — corporate litigator, third-grade teacher, Elvis impersonator, porn star … — he never really answered the question.

A new documentary called “Stripped: Greg Friedler’s Naked Las Vegas” steps in to, er, flesh things out. It premieres on Showtime at 10 p.m. today and will be shown at the Onyx Theatre at 8 p.m. Wednesday and March 31.

“It’s not just about seeing people take their clothes off and having their picture taken,” said director David Palmer. “We dove into these people’s lives.”

Palmer filmed Friedler at work while both visited Las Vegas for several weeks in August 2007. Then Palmer approached the photographer’s subjects, asking if they would become his. Most agreed to bare all in the other way, too.

“I walked up to talk to them and they’d be standing there completely naked, completely exposed and completely honest,” Palmer said.

One subject thought getting naked was good for his reputation as a hustler. Another wanted to rebel against the oppression of his corporate environment. Another simply wanted a memento for her old age. (None were paid to pose.)

Palmer and his crew followed one subject back to her house where, as her poodle watched, the subject ground her high heel into the face of a male submissive. They interviewed another subject at a nude swingers party. And, in the film’s emotional zenith, a homeless subject showed Palmer the tunnel where he sleeps at night.

“It turned out to be a love story to these amazing, quirky, unique, fascinating people who make up the city,” Palmer said.

“Stripped” also documents the problems that plagued Friedler’s mission.

“Vegas was very stressful for me,” Friedler told the Review-Journal. “I went there thinking I had about a hundred people to shoot. Maybe two came through.”

Elvis impersonator Jessie Garon was a particular pain, according to Friedler, bailing on the shoot three or four times before finally committing.

“He drove us nuts,” Friedler said, “but we had to have an Elvis impersonator.”

To compensate for the no-shows, Friedler solicited strangers off the street at a First Friday art event. Those willing were invited to the Dust Gallery, where Friedler photographed 55 in just three hours.

“It was the most challenging book I had ever done,” said Friedler, who also has published naked guides to London, New York and Los Angeles.

A year later, Palmer returned to the valley with the first copy of “Naked Las Vegas.” He intended to film the reactions of the subjects to their photos. The story he found was more interesting: Many had lost their jobs, houses and relationships. And 15 of Friedler’s 75 subjects vanished without a trace.

“I was just riveted by how much things changed in a year,” Palmer said. “It’s like dog years in Vegas. Everything happens at seven times the speed of most of our lives.”

Contact reporter Corey Levitan at clevitan@review journal.com or 702-383-0456.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like