Release Date: February 1st, 2006 (Film Forum) by Palm Pictures. Directed by Peter Rosen.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Henry Geldzahler, the first curator at the Museum of Modern Art who popularized contemporary art throughout the 1960’s.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: In old footage, Geldzahler comes across as very eccentric, baby-faced and not quite photogenic, but with plenty of charm and friendliness. He was unique because he actually befriended and even lived with some of the contemporary artists whom he promoted. One day, he decided to dress like a curator with a suit, bowtie, and a cigar—which probably helped him a lot. With his influence on the art world, there was suddenly a boom of interest in the modern artworks of many artists, such as Andy Warhol. Geldzahler made sure to attend almost every art-related event that he could to make more connections with important people in the art world. Many artists, such as James Rosenquist, David Hockney, Frank Stella, and Francesco Clemente speak quite highly of him—not surprising at all. What made Geldzahler even more important is that he helped ignited Pop Art, which made art more external, flashy, and entertaining. Despite his death in 1994, there’s enough old footage of Geldzahler to grasp what kind of a person he really was. Just by looking at the inside of his house, you can tell a lot of about him—everything inside it has some sort of artistic purpose. It’s also worth mentioning that this film’s soundtrack and musical score are quite impressive. Ultimately, director Peter Rosen creates a lively tribute to Henry Geldzahler, a peculiar yet powerful man in art history.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Geldzahler was clearly a confident, persistent man, but what really made him so likable back then was his passion for art. It’s not easy to devote your life to something that doesn’t quite promise a decent income like being a doctor or a lawyer. Not only did he have faith in struggling artists, but he had faith in himself as well.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: A lively and fascinating tribute to Henry Geldzahler and the 1960’s art scene. A must-see for all art-lovers!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
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