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A Bigger Splash
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1971: David Hockney is well on his way to art world super-stardom. Filmmaker Jack Hazan, camera rolling, follows Hockney from London to New York to Los Angeles- capturing the artist as he struggles to create what would prove to be some of his most enduring works: those featuring Hockney's model and lover, Peter Schlesinger.
Straddling the boundary between documentary and fiction, A BIGGER SPLASH tells the story of Hockney's breakup with Schlesinger and its effect on Hockney, his work, and his close circle of friends. Originally banned for a notorious scene of homosexual intimacy, this award-winning film, "at once precise and dreamlike," is a unique document of a time and place, a lifestyle, and the artistic process, unlike anything made before or since.
Joyful, truly exciting… will linger long in the memory. --Gay News
A startler, partly in its extraordinary beauty of colour and image, partly in its homosexual frankness. --The Sunday Times (UK)
- Interview with Jack Hazan
- Photo gallery
- Film notes
Top Customer Reviews
Not everything works so well, however. The director would have us believe that Mr. Hockney is having difficulty completing a painting because he has just broken up with its subject and his lover, Peter Schlesinger. The artist, who according to the accompanying notes to the DVD, was upset when he saw the finished documentary, indicated that the breakup was not a factor in his slow work on the painting. Also often the people just engage in dull conversation about not much in particular. Some of the dialogue could have been cut without hurting the finished film at all. Much is made about whether Mr. Hockey will return to California or to New York, et cetera, et cetera. One person repeats two or three times that "when a love goes wrong, there are more than two people who suffer." Okay. Then there is a rather explicit sex scene between two men that does not add much to the overall excellence of the movie.Read more ›
In London we meet his friends - Celia Birtwell, the elegantly stylishly beautiful model Hockney used repeatedly, dress designer Ossie Clark, confidant Mo McDermott, and patron Henry Geldzahler - each of whom Hockney painted and drew. We watch as Hockney visits the galleries and admires works of his friends, how he paints in his studio, how he relates to his gallerists (like Paul Kasmin), and how he perceives men and other artists.
Peter Schlesinger figures prominently in the film with many episodes of Peter's swimming in the pools of the people Hockney would eventually immortalize. He is a fine presence and carries his silent role well - almost appearing as a ghost muse that keeps Hockney focused on his now infamous swimming pool paintings.
The magic of this film, for those to whom Hockney is a well known and important painter, is the visual recreation of the paintings that have made him so famous: we are allowed to see Celia and her husband with white cat in context with the canvas, the view of Peter staring into the pool at an under water swimmer, the woman and her animal heads who appears in another of Hockney's famous paintings at poolside, etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perhaps I am not aware of the person to whom this movie is based but I found it boring.Published 3 days ago by C. Mondragon
It was fun for a bit to look at it as a period art piece...couldn't stick with it. Reminded me of Warhol films a little...Published 7 days ago by C. J. Pellicano
Made in 1974 this is a sort of documentary about the art of Andy Warhol ‘look a likie’ and Northern Enfant terrible – David Hockney. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tommy Dooley
If you are going to make a documentary, there should be dialogue. If you are going to make a movie/documentary/biography there still has to be dialogue. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jeffery T Boutte
Boring movie, couldn't wait for it to end. Not worth watching.Published 4 months ago by evrhandyman
A lovely, beautifully photographed film. I will enjoy watching this over again.Published 4 months ago by Robert Steven van Keuren
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