7.1/10
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7 user 35 critic

Beautiful Losers (2008)

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This documentary follows the lives and careers of a collective group of Do-it-yourself artists and designers who inadvertently affected the art world.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Thomas Campbell ...
Himself
...
Himself
Jo Jackson ...
Herself
Chris Johanson ...
Himself
Margaret Kilgallen ...
Herself
...
Himself
Geoff McFetridge ...
Himself
Barry McGee ...
Himself
...
Himself
Stephen Powers II ...
Himself
Claire E. Rojas ...
Herself
...
Himself
Deanna Templeton ...
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Ed Templeton ...
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Storyline

The greatest cultural accomplishments in history have never been the result of the brainstorms of marketing men, corporate focus groups, or any homogenized methods; they have always happened organically. More often than not, these manifestations have been the result of a few like-minded people coming together to create something new and original for no other purposethan a common love of doing it. In the 1990s, a loose-knit group of American artists and creators, many just out of their teens, began their careers in just such a way. Influenced by the popular underground youth subcultures of the day, such as skateboarding, graffiti, street fashion and independent music, artists like Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, Spike Jonze, Margaret Kilgallen, Mike Mills, Barry McGee, Phil Frost, Chris Johanson, Harmony Korine, and Ed Templeton began to create art that reflected the lifestyles they led. Many had no formal training and almost no conception of the inner workings of the art world. They ... Written by Anonymous

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Make Something From Nothing

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Release Date:

2 August 2008 (Japan)  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,607 (USA) (8 August 2008)

Gross:

$56,386 (USA) (19 September 2008)
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Style Wars (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock in the Rain
Performed by Money Mark
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User Reviews

Slacker Art
4 February 2010 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Here is a wonderful little niche genre.

Movies are essentially striving to art. Few qualify. Almost no one can manage the complex juggling act that it takes. It just involves too many people, too many risks, too many dependencies on happy accidents. But the fact that film CAN BE art is what underlies all film.

What if you cannot make a film that has artistic merit?

One solution is that you make a film about artists. The problem is that even if you branch away from film in search of a broader field, you run into the market effect. Art may exist all over, but unless if finds a hook that allows it to catch some market force to sweep it to you, you will never experience it.

That means that market forces co- create art, and more particularly the many souls making decisions that are abstracted into this "force." That is a nuanced way of saying that in some respect we are at the mercy of some group we may not like.

Here we are introduced to one of those groups. They believe themselves to be artists. Some critical mass of consumers buy the argument. One of them did the requisite dying for her art. All have suffered and sacrificed, as we see documented. I saw this intermingled with documentaries that exposed the corruption in how food is produced, how the food is literally killing us and what we made as this society. This fits, I believe.

The tinkering at the edge that these small souls do could never matter to me. But being exposed does. Because it is not about what you accept, but what you choose not to that matters.

So the film works on that level. And on another. Harmony Korine is one of this group, one who speaks engagingly. This is an unexpected and effective bridge between film and the sausage machine that makes film. It was welcome. I like this kid and his work. He wonders about geekiness, loneliness and technology the same way I did and possibly would even now. So there is a predetermined familiarity, an acceptance of soul when seeing him.

Didn't like his friends though.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


8 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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