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||IMDB Rating: 6.7/10 from votes
||Release: 28 November 2014 (UK) /
||Stars: Arthur Lambert, Betty Freeman, Celia Birtwell, Colin Self, David Hockney, Don Bachardy, George Lawson, John Kasmin, Paul DuBois, Wayne Sleep
||Synopsis: Hockney sees the charismatic artist take director Randall Wright on an exclusive tour of his archives and into his studio, where he still paints seven days a week. The film, which looks back at Hockney's formative years in the British Pop Art scene and his experience of being a gay man as the Aids crisis took hold, as well as his years working in California. Written by http://10starmovie.me/
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I don't know too much about David Hockney but have watched one or two
recent Arts programmes on him and was curious to watch this documentary
on his life and times. I came away from it very appreciative of his art
if not learning too much about the innermost personality of a man who
appears to have made a big splash with his life early on in the Pop
Art-infused swinging 60's but to have gradually withdrawn within
himself into his work as he has got older.
The narrative does follow a back-to-front framework as the viewer is
guided through his life although I don't recall very often specific
dates being spelt out for assimilation. The interviews with friends and
associates are insightful and positive if less than critical, as I
sense something cantankerous, provocative and difficult about him which
seemed to get glossed over.
The key relationships in his life appear to be with the young lover he
lived with for years, although again we're not told why they split up,
the older American critic who helped get him established in the States
and anchored him throughout his life and lastly his relationship with
his family, particularly his father and most especially his long-lived
The different phases of his artistic progress were well documented with
special emphasis on his best known paintings like the portrait of Ossie
Clark and his wife and of course "A Bigger Splash". I really enjoyed
almost all of his work on display, right up to date with his work in
different media, including photography and even works made up on an
iPhone or iPad.
Present day Hockney is interviewed intermittently throughout the piece,
and a device is made of framing some of his often cryptic sayings as
almost chapter headings which put me in mind of his later practice of
putting together compartments of pictures to make a bigger whole, even
though I tired a bit of this sometimes pretentious prop.
I think I like the older, sager Hockney more than his flashier, often
shocking younger self. I admired the way Hockney didn't suppress his
homosexuality in the early 60's even when it was illegal in the UK up
until 1967, but do wonder how he'd have gotten on if his artistic fame
and fortune hadn't taken him to Los Angeles in the mid 60's, where he
was freed from convention.
Nowadays he seems like a slightly solitary but still content old man,
but hopefully with enough inspiration to go on into the future. No
doubt he'll still be painting till he drops rather like his artistic
I'm no art buff but I know what I like and while I was less keen on his
earlier breakthrough works where he seemed to be pushing some sort of
homosexual agenda, I enjoyed very much the work he created as he
matured, rather in the same way, as I said earlier, I preferred the
older to the younger man.
On the whole then I enjoyed this film of an interesting, complex and
very talented man but just wondered as the credits rolled if he might
have made a slightly more imaginative and revealing job of it himself,
as I'm sure he could have done.
Tags for Hockney Full Movie
, Betty Freeman
, Celia Birtwell
, Colin Self
, David Hockney
, Don Bachardy
, George Lawson
, John Kasmin
, Paul DuBois
, Wayne Sleep
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