Working on all of the linoleum block prints as of late, I have been catching up on a short list of documentary films that I’ve wanted to check out for some time. Typically, I listen to a film while working. Most often, the film plays on 2-3 times before I pop it out of the player. Documentaries are great for this, as high-quality films deliver great content and provide a balanced cadence of queues that beckon a quick glance up at the screen.
This holiday, I thought to review a few films for your inner artist that you might find exceptional. (Part One, more soon).
Art of the Steal directed by Don Argott
Welcome to the Barnes Foundation, one of the finest collections of nineteenth and twentieth-century French painting in the world. Dr. Albert Barnes was a visionary, created a foundation, built a gallery and school and dedicated himself to educating the community about appreciating the fine arts and horticulture. The movie moves swiftly, introducing you to the vision of Barnes, the plight of the foundation after his death in 1951, the eventual collapse of the foundation and the swift political street fight between Philadelphia and rural Merion, PA. This movie points out the political system is clueless when it comes to art but clearly understands what it takes to generate attraction, thus stuffing pockets full of money. “Art of the Steal” is a modern tale full of intrigue, power positioning and the eventual fate of Renoir (181), Matisse (59), Van Gogh (7), Picasso (46), Modigliani (16), Degas (11), Cézanne (69) and countless others. 95 Minutes later you and you find yourself feeling like you need to jump into the fight and help out the Barnes Foundation. Trailer. NPR Review.
More soon and happy holidays!