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Alice Neel Documentary

20 customer reviews

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Alice Neel
Alice Neel
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Alice Neel (1900-1984), one of the great portrait painters of the 20th century, reinvented the genre by expressing the inner landscape of her subjects, who included luminaries such as Andy Warhol, Bella Abzug, and Allen Ginsberg as well as her neighbors in Spanish Harlem. Made by her grandson, Andrew Neel, this very personal film captures her struggles as a female artist, a single mother, and a painter who defied convention. With unlimited access to photos, video, art, and letters, Neel reveals a portrait of the artist consistent with the themes of intimacy, family, and survival that were so central to her work.

Review

The fascinating documentary Alice Neel illuminates history while also demonstrating how an artist s style reveals his or her personality. - Mark Zoller Seitz --New York Times

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alice Neel, Hartley Neel, Richard Neel, Chuck Close, Philip Bonosky
  • Directors: Andrew Neel
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arts Alliance America
  • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015XL7SK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,465 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Alice Neel Documentary" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By sdw on June 4, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I looked up Alice Neel for a homework assignment for a painting class, and found her absolutely fascinating, her life story, and her paintings. The movie is great because it is made by her sons and grandson. It's quirky, but so is she. The great part is you find out what ever happened to Isabella, her daughter, who was taken to Cuba by her x-husband as a baby. I will let you find out for yourself. A great American Artist story. She is my new favorite.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Beverly M. Carl on July 6, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I caught this at an early screening by the film department at the College of Santa Fe. Neel had a unique ability to capture the essence of a person. Unfortunately, she fell beneathe the radar of public notice in recent years. The film drags a bit, but is a "must see" for anyone who cares about art and the true (not just representational) portrait of another human being.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Verygoods on June 27, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is an insightful mix of personal accounts from those who knew Alice Neel, images of her work, and footage of the artist herself. I've seen countless documentaries on many artists - and this ranks among the best. Made by Neel's grandson, some older footage had to have been taken by his father, Neel's son. At the heart of this work is a desire to tell the honest, real account of Alice Neel's life. I especially liked how the well filmed interviews seemed to mirror those sessions Neel had when she painted her subjects. At times, hand held camera work and lighting from spotlights perhaps similar to those she would use helped increase a sense of connection with the interviewed sitter. New images of her paintings, often revealingly somewhat close-up, were very well filmed and integrated perfectly into the older historic footage to help point how her artworks are with us now in the present - always ever relevant. She was a wonderful artist and humanitarian.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Toby T on January 7, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this documentary in San Francisco at a movie theatre and loved it. It is terrific to have my own copy and to be able to see Alice's paintings either on my large tv or smaller computer screens.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Andre on October 21, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this documentary at a friend's house, and plan to buy it as soon as it is available again. My mother was the subject of two portraits by Neel--she was Hartley's visiting nurse in 1941--and neither portrait was acknowledged publicly for decades; the first, "Woman in Blue Hat", was ascribed to the wrong year and my mother was not identified by the gallery; the other, still unnamed, has been in our family's possession since it was done, and only recently (less than 20 years ago) did it come to the attention of the gallery then handling her work.
I realize this isn't much of a review, but I was thrilled to see the documentary and I believe my mother's portrait shows up hanging on the wall of Hartley's home during an interview recorded in the documentary. So, yes, the documentary meant very much to me. Neel may be history to many, but she is still living to me--and let my mother exist in history as well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Munro on July 19, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this bio of Alice Neel. I've always loved her work, how she painted us as we are, the beauty of the whole with its shadows and losses and fears, our particularity. The film is wonderfully like the woman and her art. It's a straightforward biography pieced together out of old photos, paintings, and old and new interviews, in a sense leaving nothing out, whether it flatters Alice or not. There is a satisfying number of glimpses of Alice herself, whose blunt, perceptive talk and native clarity were leavened with humor and affection. I love her even more now than I did before, and I now also love her family, who are a testament to her truth as an individual--she did what mattered most to her, she was true to herself. That's so difficult to do, especially for women. She suffered for it, and others suffered for it, but who the hell said you could get out of suffering in this life? She did her time, she made the very best of her life, as ragged as life really is, and I love her for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elle on February 27, 2011
Format: DVD
My first introduction to Alice Neel's work was at the show Alice Neel: Paintings 1933-1982 at Loyola Marymount. I knew very little of her life, but her art woke me. Through her eyes I began to see the colors. I looked at skin and saw the many colors that make up something as simple as skin tone. She blew up the color spectrum for me and taught me in one afternoon to see. So often in life we see what we think we should see, Alice saw what was there, and then she saw through what was there to the essence of the person. Her portraits were both reductive and complex.

This excellent documentary was a revelation. I learned a great deal about Alice Neel, her art, her life and her place in art history. It is an unflinching look at Alice's life and art, and how they inform each other. Alice Neel holds a place in the iconography of American artists and this documentary will introduce you to her rare and steadfast visual genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debra F. from NC on July 16, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Ever since I saw her art over ten years ago, I was intrigued. She was a very interesting and talented artist, who was born and lived way before her time. Just to think she was born about the same time as my own grandmother. I could never imagine my grandmother or mother acting or being like Alice Neel. (They were and are old school.) Alice Neel would fit very well into today's modern society. Alice Neel was young even when she was elderly! This film is the perfect biography of her life and I highly recommend it. It was very interesting. It's worth watching again. I also love painting and art, but not to the degree of Alice Neel. Guess that's why she was so successful and still is even after her death!
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