Release Date: April 20th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by SeeThink Productions.
Directed by Andrew Neel.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Alice Neel, a 20th Century artist who painted portraits.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: This absorbing documentary provides fascinating accounts of the life and work of painter Alice Neel. Alice painted portraits of a wide range of people, from the rich to the poor. What made her works unique was how she painted them in a very natural way—whether the expressions were sad or happy or angry. She even painted nude portraits which some critics felt was uncomfortable to look at. Her love of painting was very evident and, amazingly, she wasn’t intimidated to change her way of painting despite her lack of income. Director Andrew Neel, her grandson, combines old footage with Alice along with interviews with family members and her friends. Andrew does a great job of bringing Alice Neel to life as an artist and uses interesting footage with her which helps you to understand what she’s thinking. In a way, Andrew has created his own portrait of his complex grandmother who never reached fame or fortune, yet made has undeniably made her mark in the art world. If she were still living today, she would be proud that her grandson has honored in this well-rounded documentary with all of her humanity intact.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s quite inspiring that Alice Neel followed her passion to paint without conforming to society’s norms. Life was certainly not easy for her and she turned-off some people by capturing them in moments of discomfort, but at least she managed to channel her frustrations through an artistic medium.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None. NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: An absorbing, fascinating and intimate portrait of a bohemian 20th Century artist.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
The "A" Menu