Critic Reviews



Based on 9 critic reviews provided by
The rare footage of '50s and '60s L.A. alone is a treasure; the City of Angels has rarely looked so hip. Bonus: cool music from the likes of Charles Mingus and the Velvet Underground.
Takes its title from an early Artforum article that described the sleek aesthetic of the then-new Southern California art.
Happily, many of the figures spoken about throughout the film are still with us -- Neville is even able to reproduce Patricia Foure's famous group photo with most of its original subjects.
The Hollywood Reporter
Documentarian Morgan Neville has fashioned a spirited riposte to the groundless cliche that Los Angeles is a cultural wasteland.
What The Cool School does so well, through its color accents and black-and-white photography, through the kinetic music that propels Jeff Bridges' narration by and the unorthodox attitude that reflects the artists themselves, is impart a sense of discovery.
Village Voice
All told, and well told, this is essential history.
Filmed largely in black and white, The Cool School includes interviews with one of the gallery's founders, Ed Kienholz, as well as with Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell and architect Frank Gehry.
The cultural cock-strutting gets to be a bit much, but Neville handily captures the excitement of an art scene percolating, breaking wide open, and finally burning itself out.
The Cool School, is, well, cool, but it’s also fairly parochial.

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