A suitable portrait of one of Britain's greatest living painters, this artful documentary offers wonderful access to David Hockney, his family, friends, colleagues and of course his artwork. And what makes the film essential viewing is the way it breaks through the surface to explore what makes Hockney tick, how he approaches each technological innovation in his work, why his paintings have such an impact and how he fits into art history. It might be a bit long and rambling, but fans wouldn't want to cut anything out.
Hockney was born in West Yorkshire in 1937 and has always said he was brought up in Hollywood and Bradford, "because as a child I spent all my free time at the pictures". Movies gave him a wider perspective on the world, which is exactly what he has worked to do in his art, whether by bending sight-lines in a painting, pasting together Polaroid pictures or shooting a panorama on his iPhone. These angles draw people into his work in unusually personal ways, opening up around us and forcing us to see the familiar through different eyes. Filmmaker Randall Wright delves into several of Hockney's most iconic paintings, revisiting locations and tracking down the people depicted in them, adding meaning and relevance to images we thought we knew.
He also lets Hockney explain his feelings about events throughout his life, from swinging-60s London to art-boom New York to his second home in Los Angeles. And there are devastating memories from the 80s and 90s, when he lost two-thirds of his friends and colleagues to Aids. The stories Hockney and others tell are packed with lively details about his paintings, his relationships and even his sexuality, putting him into the context of the times while also exploring his lasting impact on the art world. Tand the film itself has a lush artistic style to it, playfully indulging in familiar images while catching funny comments and strong emotional moments along the way.
Continue reading: Hockney Review
And even though the story wobbles along the way, it's a vital, involving film.
Lucy (Windsor) is an 11-year-old living with her father (Carlyle) in Nottingham. But when a schoolteacher discovers that she has been violently beaten, she's placed in a care home, sharing a room with 16-year-old tearaway Lauren (Socha). Lauren takes Lucy on several rather illicit outings, constantly landing the pair in trouble. And when Lucy wonders why she can't live with her mother (Lynch), her social worker (Stacey) only says that it's not possible.
Continue reading: The Unloved Review
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