DAISY: The  Story of a Facelift

It was Daisy herself who asked me to record the story of her facelift.
“Why ask me, Daisy? That’s not a subject which appeals to me, Daisy.”
“Because you’ll be honest.” she said.
“You won’t flatter me even as I’m trying to flatter myself.”


I actually enjoyed going on the journey with Daisy and I worked hard to bring to the forefront all her quirks and foibles.

She was both outrageously vain and also very touching and vulnerable. She was that wonderful talent which documentary filmmaker craves to find. My certainty about her screen value lead to a falling out with the producer, Harry Gulkin, and him leaving the movie as a result.

For some reason,  he lost confidence in Daisy as someone who could carry the story. He wanted to shift the emphasis to make the film essay on beauty and vanity.

There are some short sections which speculate on appearance and what it means to humans. But essays have never been my thing and many years later I would have the same argument and win the same battle with other producers in relation to another star of mine, Olive Riley. Olive who was age 104 at the time I made the movie  about her. It also had come out an essay proposal about the centenarian phenomenon, which was also abandoned when Olive proved she could carry the film.

Daisy was delighted with the way the film turned out and I used to enjoy being invited to feminist seminars and defending both my film and her. The most touchy scene, which everyone except Daisy urged me not to include, was the actual facelift. Too gruesome to watch,  I was told. And it was true. As as the skin is separated from the head, it  becomes like a movable mask, and one wants to turn away.
So that’s exactly what I advised people to do as they watched the film, telling people when to close their eyes and then open again. I thought it worked quite well.



National Film Board  – www.nfb.ca/film/daisy_the_story_of_a_facelift/