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Modigliani Review


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Despite great talent, fame and fortune eluded the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani during his brief life. A drunkard and a drug addict, Modigliani lived in squalor and died a relatively obscure figure of the Paris art scene of the early 20th century. Now, more than 80 years after his death, with a single one of his portraits recently fetching $8 million, Modigliani has finally achieved the ne plus ultra of artistic success: He is the subject of a feature film, writer-director Mick Davis's aptly titled Modigliani.

After a brief prelude, the film picks up Modigliani's story in 1919, the year before his death, at a time when modern art was flourishing in Paris. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, and Jean Cocteau haunted the cafes at night as their fame and influence spread over the globe. It is here, in a café, where Modigliani (Andy Garcia) makes his entrance, drunkenly hopping onto a table and publicly ridiculing Picasso with the question, "How do you make love to a cube?"

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