Amazon Holiday

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Art of the Steal

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: This PBS-style documentary recounts the story of how The Barnes Collection, the most valuable collection of art in America, and possibly the world, was metaphorically stolen in broad daylight by politicians and non-profit organizations.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Some Van Goghs, some Cezannes, some Monets, some Matisses, some Picassos, some Manets, some Renoirs, and countless other famous artists' works, which you probably haven't heard of.

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. If you've heard of any of the artists I didn't bother to mention from Barnes' collection, then you're just the kind of cultural art snob this talking heads documentary was made for.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Only if poopy jokes make you laugh... You weren't expecting me to say that, were you?

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you're one of those cultural art snobs I mentioned above, just seeing some of these paintings committed to celluloid could move you in ways so profound that you can hardly put your emotions into a category.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Most of the commentators in the film would likely give it The Philistine Award. Let me define "philistine" for those of you not culturally-art-snobby enough to go see this: (Merriam-Webster) "A person who is guided by materialism and is usually disdainful of intellectual or artistic values"... So basically, it's you.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: It's so interesting how no matter whose side of the story you're hearing, the person telling it to you always believes they are 100% right.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: The guy clearly knows he's making a film about art, so whenever he is tasked with shooting transitional shots of cityscapes and skylines, he makes a point of being as showy as possible. He also conspicuously places all of his interview subjects in front of large pieces of art, which are presumably from their own personal collections.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The musical score leads you to believe that they are hoping that you are watching a thriller. And again, if you are the cultural art snob mentioned above, maybe this is all it takes to thrill you.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: The movie does (very casually) open the debate about what is best for the art. Is it best to respect the will of the original owner, which may mean that no one makes any money off the collection and very few people in the world are ever invited to see it, but it is respected and preserved in the way it was intended to be? Or is it best to go against the dead owner's desires, so that people from around the world can enjoy these great works, even if it means that greedy rich aristocrats and selfish politicians are profiting from it? The fact that you're even pondering the answer to that, points directly to the evidence that you are in fact the cultural art snob in question, so I suggest you see the movie and discuss it with you co-snobs immediately.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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