Art School Confidential

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Art School Confidential

July 16, 2007

   A GoodArt post by Brian van der Spuy:

I just saw a film on DVD, titled 'Art School Confidential.' It is a satire lampooning modernist art schools, and is both hilarious and infuriating at the same time. As John Malkovich, who plays one of the modernist teachers, said, he just found the idea of a bunch of talentless jerks at an art school, where the teachers are ALSO a bunch of talentless jerks, very funny. And it is. But also maddening.

The film relates the tale of Jerome, a talented but somewhat clueless youngster who goes to the famous Strathmore College (apparently loosely based on the Pratt Institute), where he turns out to be the only one in his class who can actually draw at all. But his work is either ignored or shot down in flames by both his pretentious fellow students and the teachers (although he does get an A at the end of the semester. But so does everyone else!). The star pupil in the class paints naive, childlike pictures of cars and trucks, but before he can achieve fame, it turns out that he is actually just an undercover policeman on the trail of a serial killer that has been terrorizing the campus, and that indeed, he knows nothing whatever about art. In the meantime, Jerome becomes the prime suspect and is promptly arrested. And then, thanks to the instant notoriety, his art career of course suddenly takes off in a big way!

Here's the IMDB page on the film:

There is also a message board there, and I found some of the comments by viewers very instructive indeed. One unfortunately has to register to read the message boards, so here are some comments by people who saw the film:

"I was surprised at how much this little film was right on...when i studied art at concordia university i can tell you that this is exactly the way it was in school....from the wannabes who couldn't draw a boob to the classicly trained painters who got trashed with no mercy by the lesser skilled students...."

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