SO: is this the year of the biopic – or what ?
selfie x selfie x selfie x caricature – in cinematic terms ?
‘Big Eyes’, ‘Get On Up’ – JAMES BROWN, ‘American Sniper’, and supposedly the big daddy art biopic of them all: ‘Mr. Turner’ – all tell stories of real people, and in close-up, intimate range.

I mean even ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ . . is a biopic !!
it’s actually, format-wise . . even more truly a ‘selfie’ then the others – as it’s told from a first person point of view – a recollection.
and in a funny twist, although it is FICTIONAL, it is re-creating the storytelling voice of: STEFAN ZWEIG, so, go figure.
ps: in a gorgeous snarky aside, didn’t you just love how the lawyer, a superb JEFF GOLDBLUM, got his 4 fingers chopped off !!

ok. yeah I saw the ‘Nanny Photographer’, too. it’s a true biopic, in that it is a doc after the fact, cobbled together after her death – and I guess then that should be included, it’s actually up for an award !!
maybe more on that – next. it was kind of wimpy.
only in a slow week in the art scene, would it even score a mention.

SO: geez, apparently NOT all OLD WHITE MEN are old fogie geezers.
3 cheers for CLINT EASTWOOD for holding down the fort – of cinematic brilliance on EVERY FRONT.
3 cheers for the REAL MR. TURNER, you old horny hobbit – please stand up !!
what a character !!
but seriously, details aside – the film is way too slow, worse than watching a pot of water come to a boil. moves at what they used to call a ‘glacial’ pace, but now up-dated to .. slower than watching the glaciers recede via global warming.

SO: obviously, not that much exciting is happening in the art world, to report upon this week . . .

but the big screen, and even the little screen (TV) are super super HOT !!
where biopics, stretched to include fictional bio-dramas, bio-novel adaptions, as well as real life action – are too numerous to list, but you know them, including ‘Girls’ – a true ‘selfie’ (!!) and ‘Olive Ketteridge’, moving thru ‘Homeland’ and onto ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘House of Cards’, etc etc. all these intense bio portrayals are the plats de jours, and all kinds of TV/CABLE series based on vivid characterizations, (as opposed to rom-coms) – are just absolutely . . on FIRE.



I don’t care what anybody says, including the so-called hip of the hippest, who are really just too cool for school, and very lame attention-needers – ROLLING STONE, that means you !!

BRADLEY COOPER inhabits that ‘military artisan’ – sniper, sharpshooter, or marksman, no matter how you want to call it, like he is out of his body and burrowed deep into the real life CHRIS KYLE that the film is based on, and yes, he does deserve an Oscar for Best Actor.

yes. military ‘artisan’, just as surely as there is a BROOKLYN REVIVAL 21st CENTURY – on all things craft and ‘artisan’ – this film is so on point, being a conscious focus on the individual talent and determination involved in being an ace sharpshooter. it is most definite about being being hands-on, ‘skilled’ as in hand-made . . . as opposed to being about a non-human heat-seeking digitally navigated drone/missile.

the focus, skills, the beauty & tragedy of that deployment in action – is captured in an intense, narrowly focused sweep of a life story .. by director CLINT EASTWOOD, as in no other war movie before. American markmanship has a very proud history, going back to the days of the American Revolution, where if you pay even the slightest attention to the re-creation dramas on TV (!!) – these lone snipers, homegrown backwoods boys skilled enough to stand above, or rather apart from the rest of the pack – as to surface in history by name, were key battle game changers. Mr. Eastwood has just brought the arc – up to update.
it’s very Americana. profoundly Americana.

young American snipers picked off the British officers, who were used to being able to parade around on their horses – previously a big no no, and strictly off-limits according to the rules of old world warfare, too bad. talk about early American fighting spirit, and . . know-how.



oh lordy, yes I was happy to see this film, it was fascinating and a brilliant portrayal – but friggin – deadly SLOW. talk about a sniper, this film needs a sharpshooter of an film editor – to take it back back to the cutting room, and trim like 1 frame out of every 11 – out.

it reminds me of TIM BURTON’S woeful, but could-have-been, ‘BIG EYES’ – in that the film loses creative steam – to a technical ‘glitch’ . . as opposed to a weak storyline.

in ‘BIG EYES’ – the 2 leading actors, CHRISTOPH WALTZ and AMY ADAMS never get on the same page, and this eventually just shuts the whole film down – and brings the entire enterprise to a complete stop. in ‘Mr. Turner’ so much of the film is wonderful and brilliant: the cinematography, the story-telling, the tale itself, the acting is superb across the board – but the film is so slow – as to kill any possibility of real success. even I, dedicated art world wonderer, and a big movie fan – was left crawling up the walls, as it went on and on and no. grunts and groans, and all. I literally felt like a pre-schooler forced to take a ‘nap’, when your blood is racing and all you want to do is run amuck, and fling your arms out to life. I was literally hanging onto the almost empty theater chair in front of me – for dear life, I was so awash in impatience, absolutely, physically stultified by the glacially, and overwhelming boring pace.
yep, that bad.

I mean unlike ‘BIG EYES’ in which the horribly mis-matched character acting is imbedded through-out the film, this film could possibly be saved – if they just had the GUTS to go back and do one hell of a re-edit !! they don’t have to change anything about how the story unfolds, they just need to sharpen up the pace of the telling, and I don’t mean delete all those great groans and grunts – but man, get it moving.

I wonder if they would have the guts to do that ?
I wonder if a film has ever yet been pulled from circulation – and made better, edited to run swifter – with the material already in hand ?

too bad. because it’s quite a curious character brought to life, and in a most marvelous way, so curious. so Brit, in a nutshell: such a ‘Hobbit’ meets BEATRIX POTTER . . kind-of-way.

omg, do you remember TIMOTHY SPALL – in ‘HARRY POTTER and THE GOBLET OF FIRE’ – enough said.
I guess there was a reason HARRY POTTER, had that last name (Beatrix Potter ).

but back to Mr. Turner, I wish I could say it was just as delightful as those Harry Potter films.

I mean, PLEASE don’t take out all those long scenes, and silent landscapes, all the long silences and esp all those groans, and grunts. but you know, pick and choose your battles – otherwise this very fine effort – is doomed to the dustbin.

if you can sit through it, maybe it would work broken down into smaller pieces and serialized on TV !! it is a rewarding and full of brilliance cinematic journey, with piquant, insightful moments and rich with vivid cameos. it actually, unlike ‘BIG EYES’, but on a par with ‘American Sniper’ – unfolds as very real, very authentic, but still even so, reverberates: very c-u-r-i-o-u-s.

I can’t say, ‘curious’ enough. even though Mr. Turner seemingly was very successful and in fact a celebrity in his own lifetime – what a curious, horny little hobbit.

how he ever got past his natural-born – ‘outsiderness’ – is a mystery not addressed by the film, apparently he was part of the academy, the film only traces the last 25 years of his life – til his death at 76 in 1851. I guess in his youth, he was just that great a virtuosity. but the movie seems to imply that his curious stature and resultant ornery anti-social stance, finally caught up with him, and when he really let loose and let his creativity – fly, social walls closed down on him, except for his curious love life ?

that opening scene with the windmills, shown in the screen grab above – is the absolute most beautiful cinematic moment put to screen. don’t clip that. it’s fine, it’s more than fine – it’s a glory to behold.

the painting ‘technique’ shots, esp his inserting that red buoy by hand and dirty fingernail, into a finished canvas at an academy exhibition – all ring true.

omg, his hobbity sex life – is a full-blown capture: a riot of soulful passion and upfront grunting ribaldry, without any trace of humor !! the scenes with his slightly not-all-there housekeeper are the best road bumps the movie delivers, and unlike everything else in this movie – move on way too quickly.

the interludes at the academy, likewise are fascinating, Turner vs Constable !!
particularly noteworthy – are the bits with the inter-generational painters, painters of all ages and stages . . showing up to the lectures !!

likewise the JOHN RUSKIN cameos are a real sweet spot, too. so swift and telling, and unlike most everything else in this grand film – so swift and good – in the movie telling !! so I’ve been rambling on, so much – I hope I’ve lost half my readers so I can insert this . .

OMG. whoever knows NICHOLAS STEINDORF, a young painter on the scene, that I follow on artlovers, don’t you agree . . ?!!

you know, NICHOLAS STEINDORF vs ANDY WARHOL, that same young painter/digital video artist . . . who took us on that spirited, but well-curated trek through the GREENPOINT STUDIO ART TOUR last Spring.
well, tell me that one of those two young, intense 20-something artists, specifically the one with the long hair and ‘German’ demeanor, in the stuttering JOHN RUSKIN salon – isn’t a dead ringer for Nicholas !!!
haha, a little bird told me Nicholas had just as hard a time sitting through the movie, as I did.
the friend I went with it – actually fell sound asleep. like being lulled to your death, if death could only be so kind.
yeah, that bad.

damn it – do a re-edit !!
don’t they have ‘test’ audiences in Europe ?

now, that’s a funny thought !!

apparently even funny little hobbits can find their – groupies.