Hello, everyone! I have a couple of movies to talk about today!
MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT
I’m generally good at avoiding clickbait on Facebook, but a week ago the premise of an article was too strong of a siren song to resist. Two artists broke up in the ’80s by walking along the Great Wall of China and embracing when they met in the middle. In 2010, they reunited during a minute of silence in an art exhibit. The artists were Marina Abramovic and Ulay.
After I read the article (and watched the video) I remembered that I had saved a documentary about Abramovic in my Netflix queue called The Artist is Present, so I decided it was finally time to watch it. The documentary gives a history of previous exhibits that Abramovic had done as she prepared for her three-month performance piece at the MoMa called “The Artist is Present.” For three months, she would sit at a table and share a minute of silence with each person who sat across from her. This is where Ulay “surprised” her to share a minute of silence. (I’ve since read that they actually spoke before the exhibit opened, although she became emotional during the minute of silence.)
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always get performance art and I wasn’t too interested in the rundown of all her past exhibits. (Also, a warning, there’s quite a bit of nudity. I wasn’t expecting it, so it definitely took me by surprise.) But I really enjoyed watching the preparations for “The Artist is Present.” My favorite part of the documentary was definitely the last part, which documented the three months during the exhibit. It was fascinating to see how people reacted to the exhibit and I enjoyed seeing how she decided to change things as the exhibit went on and what kind of a reaction it caused with the museum staff.
Overall, I felt it was a pretty awkward documentary to watch, but table portion of “The Artist is Present” exhibit was really cool. This isn’t a must-see, but if you’re interested in the exhibit, you get to see bits and pieces of it.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Daniel Radcliffe stars as Allen Ginsberg, who attends Columbia University and becomes enamored with Lucien Carr, who introduces Ginsberg to people like Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.
Whenever I find a movie about a writer or an artist I like to watch them, so as soon as I found this movie I knew I’d watch it soon. I’ve studied Ginsberg’s writing, but didn’t actually know too much about him. I found parts of the movie to be confusing, but once I looked up Carr to read more about him, the movie started to make more sense. I felt like the movie was pretty long and took awhile to get to the part of the story that I found to be most interesting and even then, we only saw glimpses of the characters who were involved in the event.
This isn’t a must-see either. Again, if you’re interested in the story of Ginsberg, Kerouac and others who were involved in Beat literature, you might be interested in this.
PS – Check out my most recent movie roundup, in which I reviewed a larger group of movies.
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I'd watch the second movie, just because it takes place in NYC. That's my favorite movie backdrop.