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Who the $#%& is Jackson Pollock? (PG-13)





Release Date: September 15th, 2006 (IFC Center) by Picturehouse.
Directed by Harry Moses.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Terry Hortonís quest to authenticate and sell a $5 painting she bought at a thrift store as a work of Jackson Pollock.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:. The quirky, loud-mouthed 73-year-old Teri Horton buys the painting for $5 from the thrift store she frequents and an art teacher who notices it later on believe it to be a Jackson Pollock Painting. In order to sell as such for millions, logically, she must find evidence that Jackson Pollock actually painted it. However, itís not that easy. The IFAR, International Foundation for Art Research, refuses to label it a Jackson Pollock work, but thatís good enough for Horton. The paintingís style with drip patterns looks somewhat like Jackson Pollockís style but with slight differences, which to some means a lot. A provenance would have helped to trace it back to Pollock, but, Horton has no success finding out who had the painting last. As an expert wisely says, anyone can simply claim they painting, especially famous people like Jack Nicholson who often collects painting. Another expert claims the work doesnít give him the sensation of a Jackson Pollock painting. Itís interesting to watch how Peter Paul Biro, a forensics art authenticator, comes to the rescue and closely examines the painting, back and front. Lo-and-behold, he finds a fingerprint which may or may not belong to Jackson Pollock, so, now, his quest is to find a fingerprint belonging to Pollock and matching the two. At this point, the documentary feels a bit tedious and ho-hum as all of the experts speak their mind. This could have been a much more powerful documentary had director Harry Moses synthesized of all of these mixed opinions without just presenting the investigation and the different opinions. At least Teri Horton manages to make it mildly entertaining thanks her quirkiness, energy and crazinessóshe often looks through the garbage for hidden treasure and turns down an offer for $8 million for the painting, which is still for sale! SPIRITUAL VALUE: Art and science doesnít always mesh well together, especially because the former deals with the metaphysical (i.e. feelings) and the later deals with the more concrete physical. Itís very courageous of Teri Horton to continue through her quest no matter how many times people call her crazy or wrong. She sticks her principles and actually lives by them without giving up entirely.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Occasionally tedious and not enough synthesis.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2

IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly engaging and somewhat insightful, but occasionally tedious and not enough synthesis.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD


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