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» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » FILMS ABOUT ARTISTS (Art, Music, Writing, etc) - faves? pans? keen to watch?

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Author Topic: FILMS ABOUT ARTISTS (Art, Music, Writing, etc) - faves? pans? keen to watch?
Anchoress
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posted 11 April 2004 11:16 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am a huge fan of movies about artists, writers, etc. I have a bunch on my TBW list - any recommendations?

My faves include: Impromptu (Chopin and Georges Sand), Immortal Beloved (Beethoven), Henry and June (Miller & Nin), Ed Wood (Ed Wood), Camille Claudel (Camille Claudel & Auguste Rodin), and Carrington (Dora Carringon, Lytton Strachey).


On my TBW list are: Pollock, Iris, The Hours, Frida, Lautrec, Sylvia (although I've heard soso things about it) and a couple I don't know the names of.

Comments/suggestions? Any good movies about actors/directors/playwrights?

[ 11 April 2004: Message edited by: Anchoress ]


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 12 April 2004 12:06 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When you watch a pic-bio-pic, how important is historical accuracy? And do you prefer to watch movies about your favourite artists, or does it matter?
From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
BLAKE 3:16
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posted 12 April 2004 11:33 AM      Profile for BLAKE 3:16     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I really enjoyed Basquiat, though I haven't seen it for some time. I also liked Quills (about the Marquis De Sade). I recall the film Artemisia, about the Renaissance artist Artemisia Gentileschi, as quite beautiful.

I found Kafka, with Jeremy Irons awful, and really really hated a movie which came out two or three years ago about Goya -- real sentimental slop.

I tend to like films about artists, where there's an attempt to actually make an interesting film rather than revelling in Art or, especially, Genius. I'd like to see a movie about Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns getting it on.


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skdadl
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posted 12 April 2004 11:47 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One of my favourite films about an artist is about a fictional artist, Gully Jimson, played in the film version of Joyce Cary's novel The Horse's Mouth by Alec Guinness (who also wrote the screenplay).

It has been ages since I saw it, but here's a NYTimes review.

Come to think of it, I'd love to see some other actor do a bio-pic of Guinness. I wonder who could.


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Michelle
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posted 12 April 2004 11:55 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure...depends on what I want to see the movie for.

When it comes to documentaries, I want the film to be as accurate as possible. But then again, we could get into a whole philosophy of history discussion, and whether it is even possible to have an objective history about any person or event.

For me, the classic example of a wildly speculative (and many say historically inaccurate) movie about the life of an artist is Amadeus. And yet, I loved the movie; I watch it whenever I run across it. The whole yarn about Salieri killing Mozart is fanciful at best, downright fiction at worst according to musical historians. But in other ways, the movie really captured Mozart's reportedly devilish personality and his genius.

I guess if I looked at it as a documentary, I would be annoyed at the historical license taken with his life. But I don't think it was meant to be a documentary, really - it was meant to capture the spirit of Mozart, even if that meant playing fast and loose with the mundane facts.

[ 12 April 2004: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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N.Beltov
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posted 12 April 2004 12:41 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
One of my favourite films about an artist is about a fictional artist, Gully Jimson, played in the film version of Joyce Cary's novel The Horse's Mouth by Alec Guinness (who also wrote the screenplay).

I will second that one. As well, Joyce Cary's theoretical work on aesthetics, Art and Reality, is a must read. I did an essay about the novel in college, in which I argued that Jimson really recognized "Nosey" (another character in the novel..friend to Jimson) as "The Horse's Mouth" by a careful analysis of the language used to describe Nosey. I think I got an "A" in the essay.

I realize that not many babblers would recognize chess players as artists but I would like to make a plea for the film Searching for Bobby Fischer. In particular, the scene where the chess mentor, played by Ben Kingsley, pushes all the pieces off the chess board in an effort to get his pupil to think outside the box is brilliant. Furthermore, there is a whole domain of chess, called by a close friend of mine "heterodox chess", also known as "fairy chess" which is great for creative activity and would be a fitting subject of a film.

[ 12 April 2004: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 12 April 2004 01:33 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Man With a Horn was supposedly based on the life of Bix Beiderbecke. It wasn't very good. Kirk Douglas had the lead role and Harry James did trumpet overdubs.

The Glenn Miller Story wasn't so hot either, but it is apparently better than The Benny Goodman Story. The Fabulous Dorseys had its moments, but it's no classic. Robert Alda was good as George Gershwin in Rhapsody in Blue.

I liked Barfly, which was loosely based on the "dirty old man," writer Charles Bukowski.


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beluga2
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posted 13 April 2004 04:44 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I quite liked Bird, Clint Eastwood's Charlie Parker biopic, even though I didn't know much about Parker when I saw it many years ago.

There was one called Impromptu, I think, about the romance between Chopin and George Sand, which was pretty good. I think Hugh Grant played Chopin.

Never seen Ed Wood or Pollock, but they're on my to-see list. So's Bound for Glory, about Woody Guthrie.

What about Adaptation? Does it count when an artist (screenwriter Charlie Kaufman) makes a movie with himself as the lead character?


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Agent 204
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posted 13 April 2004 04:55 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ed Wood is great. It presents Wood as a likeable guy who is totally deluded about his cinematic talent. Kinda poignant.

[ 13 April 2004: Message edited by: Mike Keenan ]


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candle
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posted 14 April 2004 02:15 AM      Profile for candle     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some time ago, PBS I believe, did an adaption of Sondheim's musical "Sunday in the Parks with Georges" about Georges Seurat that was quite good.

I also like the movie Backbeat about the Beatles early days in Hamburg focusing on original Beatles bassist/artist Stu Sutcliffe


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candle
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posted 14 April 2004 02:18 AM      Profile for candle     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does anyone know if there has ever been a movie about John Coltrane?
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N.Beltov
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posted 14 April 2004 02:24 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No..but if you like the tenor sax try Dexter Gordon in Around Midnight...a must-see for Jazz fans.
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windymustang
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posted 14 April 2004 02:34 AM      Profile for windymustang     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What about the documentary film on Glen Gould. I don't remember what it was called, but it was a fascinating story of a very strange and talented man.
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Anchoress
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posted 14 April 2004 02:55 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
windymustang, do you mean 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould
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windymustang
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posted 14 April 2004 03:04 AM      Profile for windymustang     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yep, but I also saw a documentary on Glenn Gould that had actual footage of him playing, as well as biographical information and interviews with his agent and friends.

[ 14 April 2004: Message edited by: windymustang ]


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 14 April 2004 03:27 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
No..but if you like the tenor sax try Dexter Gordon in Around Midnight...a must-see for Jazz fans.

Beat me to it...

The film is apparently loosely based on the life of Bud Powell. I heard a host of a jazz show on our Community Radio station say that Powell once tried to get him to buy him a drink, the way Dexter does in the picture.

This same host claimed to be one of the promoters of the famous 1953 Massey Hall jazz concert, with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Bud Powell, Mingus and Charlie Parker. He said he stiffed Bird for the dough he was supposed to receive for the concert.


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Michelle
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posted 14 April 2004 08:16 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I loved the Glenn Miller Story when I was a young teenager (what, 12 or 13 maybe?) because I loved his music so much. But I haven't seen the movie since, and I have a feeling I'd consider it a lot more schmaltzy now than I did then.
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Briguy
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posted 14 April 2004 08:44 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One of my favourite films is Shine (about David Helfgott - an Australian piano virtuoso who suffers a nervous breakdown). I also really enjoyed 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould.
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Weltschmerz
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posted 14 April 2004 11:03 AM      Profile for Weltschmerz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Two great Derek Jacobi biopics:

"Love is the Devil" about artist Francis Bacon
"Breaking the Code" about cryptologist Alan Turing

And if anyone argues that Turing wasn't an artist is in for a bit of a heated debate.


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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 14 April 2004 12:08 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
seeing benjamin smoke was a great experience.

quote:
In life, the late Atlanta musician known as Benjamin (née Robert Dickerson) was a jumble of identities--singer, Patti Smith fan, drag queen, drug addict, and wry raconteur. The story of the 10 years before his 1999 death from complications due to HIV makes for an engrossing viewing experience. Directors Jem Cohen (the Fugazi documentary Instrument) and Peter Sillen (Speed Racer) capture this eccentric figure in glimpses of 16mm and Super 8 ... the film's tone turns bleak as Benjamin's health begins to deteriorate, but his resilient nature, and a moving appearance by Smith that provides a coda for his life, brings a bittersweet finale in this fascinating portrait of a deep dreamer.

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Coyote
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posted 14 April 2004 02:46 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Amadeus.
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koan brothers
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posted 14 April 2004 11:22 PM      Profile for koan brothers     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by candle:
Does anyone know if there has ever been a movie about John Coltrane?

There is a documentary entitled The World According To John Coltranethat I know of. I'm sure there must be others.


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bittersweet
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posted 15 April 2004 01:29 AM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Le Mystère Picasso
Creative Process: Norman McLaren
Crumb
Wild Man Blues
Don't Look Back
My Left Foot
Bullets Over Broadway
Shakespeare In Love

[ 15 April 2004: Message edited by: bittersweet ]


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ronb
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posted 15 April 2004 02:11 AM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Altman's Vincent and Theo - Tim Roth as Van Gogh
24 Hour Party People
Throw Mama From The Train - a comedy about writer's block.
Before Night Falls
Buena Vista Social Club
Visions of Light - cinematographers and their art

Bullets Over Broadway, excellent choice.

Did not care for Frida at all.


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mighty brutus
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posted 15 April 2004 10:44 AM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Elgar" by Ken Russell--a 1962 b&w production made for the BBC.
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natas
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posted 15 April 2004 12:23 PM      Profile for natas   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Edvard Munch, 197(?) directed by the fabulous Peter Watkins, of La Commune Paris 1871 (check out www.peterwatkins.lt). Just saw it at the Staircase in Hamilton, it's almost three hours long but doesn't feel it; connects Munch's innovations to rebellion against puritan sexual repression, without romanticizing him; Watkins' narration is way too BBC for this cultural chauvinist but I have never seen a more compelling or educational movie about art or artists that weren't rock and rollers (and there the list is too deep to get into here)
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al-Qa'bong
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posted 19 April 2004 11:26 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Bullets Over Broadway, excellent choice.

Did not care for Frida at all.


Wasn't Bullets Over Broadway a strange way of portraying artistic commitment? Good, funny, brilliant yet strange, I thought.

I just saw Frida a couple of days ago. I liked it, although I must say I found her love scene with Trotsky fairly bizarre. Then there was her love scene with Josephine Baker!


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Anchoress
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posted 23 April 2004 06:13 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has anyone seen 'girl with a pearl earring'? What did you think of it?
From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 23 April 2004 11:02 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey, that's playing at the little theatre around the corner from me. What's it about, Anchoress?
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mai ouest
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posted 23 April 2004 12:59 PM      Profile for mai ouest   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just saw "Girl with a Pearl Earring" last night. It's about Griet, a young woman whose reduced family circumstances force her to become a maid at the house of Master Vermeer, where she learns how to grind and mix pigments and receives some psychologified advice about painting while trying to avoid the malicious pranks of Vermeer's daughter, the jealous outbursts of Mme Vermeer, and the attentions of a dirty old patron. The film is beautiful to look at; to my mind the cinematography (is that the appropriate term here?)looks more like Vermeer's paintings than the reproductions of the actual paintings themselves. The many periods of silence left lots of time to contemplate the issues raised by the film, and to make me feel extremely tense. I liked it very much.
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Anchoress
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posted 27 April 2004 08:08 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just remembered one - my first and absolute fave (actually one of my top 10 movies period) - Sid and Nancy.

Anyone else with suggestions? When this thread is truly dead, I'll compile a list with links in case anyone wants one for their to-be-viewed list.


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Anchoress
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posted 16 May 2004 03:57 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just saw an ad for another movie about an artist - 'Isn't She Great' about Jacqueline Suzanne (sp). Anyone see it? It starred Bette Midler.
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MikeFromKingston
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posted 16 May 2004 09:05 AM      Profile for MikeFromKingston     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"A Beautiful Mind"
" The last Time I Committed Suicide"
"Heart Beat"
"Backbeat"

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Anchoress
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posted 16 May 2004 09:07 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mike, thanks for the suggestions. What artists are the movies about, just so we know?
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ronb
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posted 16 May 2004 11:12 AM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Did someone mention Basquiat yet?

BTW, if you want more info on any of these titles, may I recommend imdb.com - the Western World's greatest argument-ender.


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MikeFromKingston
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posted 16 May 2004 10:34 PM      Profile for MikeFromKingston     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MikeFromKingston:

"A Beautiful Mind": John Nash. Math is an art, despite what they say
" The last Time I Committed Suicide"
"Heart Beat": Jack Kerouac/ Neal Cassady(my hero)

"Backbeat": The Beatles in Hamburg, circa 1960.



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uh clem
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posted 08 June 2004 07:01 AM      Profile for uh clem   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rivers and Tides:Working with Time about Andy Goldsworthy
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Tao Jones
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posted 08 June 2004 12:06 PM      Profile for Tao Jones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There really are sooo many but to list some faves (some mentioned - worth mentioning again) some not.

Pollock (if only for the performances)
Immortal Beloved (Oldman can do no wrong)
'Round Midnite (nails it)
24hr. Party People (High-larity)
The Player (Altman's the man)
I Shot Andy Warhol (good film)
A Mighty Wind (anything by Chris Guest )
Something This Way Comes (or something - at least visually appealing)
Before Night Falls (great film)
For Can-Con anything by Bruce Macdonald


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Primate1
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posted 28 June 2004 07:43 AM      Profile for Primate1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dunno if it's been mentioned but Shine, about pianist David Helfgott, is excellent.
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Art J
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posted 28 June 2004 08:12 PM      Profile for Art J     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Crumb
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bugaboo
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posted 29 June 2004 04:58 AM      Profile for bugaboo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I love those East Village flicks like Basquiat or Slaves of New York, even though they're not great movies on their own. Something like Basquiat is worth watching just to get Julian Schnabel's take on the whole NY art scene and to try and catch the inside jokes. Of course, I also think Casino Royale was the best Bond flick, so...
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Anchoress
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posted 20 March 2005 04:19 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has anybody seen Modigliani?
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Robbin
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posted 23 March 2005 02:45 AM      Profile for Robbin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I want to see the documentary about The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massascre called "DIG". Anyone seen that yet?
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FabFabian
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posted 25 March 2005 10:06 PM      Profile for FabFabian        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I liked "Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle" and "I Shot Andy Warhol".

I think "Modigliani" is to be released in a couple of months.


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