Semi-fictionalized documentary biopic of British artist David Hockney. After a difficult break-up, Hockney is left unable to paint, much to the concern of his friends. Titled after Hockney's... Read allSemi-fictionalized documentary biopic of British artist David Hockney. After a difficult break-up, Hockney is left unable to paint, much to the concern of his friends. Titled after Hockney's pop-art painting 'A Bigger Splash.'.Semi-fictionalized documentary biopic of British artist David Hockney. After a difficult break-up, Hockney is left unable to paint, much to the concern of his friends. Titled after Hockney's pop-art painting 'A Bigger Splash.'.
Hockney's paintings have always fascinated me. The quality of space and light and the combination of isolation and transcendence that fills the mysterious spaces in his paintings remind of Hopper--you know, the guy who painted that famous picture of the customers in the all-night diner--The Nighthawks.
When the camera is panning Hockney's fascinating and enigmatic canvases, the film works, because his canvases are so good. In those few moments when Hockney discusses his life or his work, the film works. I especially liked the brief scene where a gallery owner (Kasmin) is trying to convince Hockney to paint faster. It is reminiscent of that scene in Amadeus when the emperor (I think) complains to Mozart that there are "too many notes" in his music.
The film also works when it shows Hockney at work.
But that's about it. These moments, while they linger in the mind, only make up a small part of the film.
The rest of it *seems* to be about Hockney's breakup with his lover. However, there is virtually no exposition. Let me repeat. There is virtually no exposition. The director appears to suppose, wrongly so, that the audience will somehow already know or easily intuit the issues that separated Hockney and Schlessinger(?). Or maybe he assumes that they are just too obvious and commonly understood to bear repetition.
As for the lover, you *see* a great deal of him, but he mostly pouts and sulks and prances about. The film does not reveal whatever it was that drew Hockney to him or held them together or what drove them apart.
You hear virtually nothing about what these men were to each other, why they loved each other, why their relationship failed----nothing.
The problem, of course, is that the film and the bulk of the screen time is supposedly devoted to the failure of Hockney's relationship.
Nor do other people in the film have anything of an insightful or even informative nature to say about the relationship or anything else for that matter. They seem like a surprisingly bored and boring bunch of people.
One of the issues 'dealt with' in the film is whether or not Hockney will leave London for the US and not return. If this film accurately portrays Hockney's life in London, then it is blindingly obvious why he would want to leave London.
Oh, and there's a lot of walking around and, I think, some completely gratuitous frontal nudity, and some pretty boys splashing around naked in a pool. But what's the big deal about that? That sort of footage is widely available.
And the blooming' film goes on for two hours.
So I think this film richly deserves its very low rating. Watch something else.
- Jun 5, 2006