7.6/10
528
17 user 16 critic

How to Draw a Bunny (2002)

Interviews with Christo, Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein, Judith Malina, James Rosenquist and others help illuminate the life and work of Warhol contemporary Ray Johnson.

Director:

John W. Walter (as John Walter)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Ialacci Joseph Ialacci ... Himself - former Sag Harbor Police Chief (as Chief Joseph Ialacci)
Richard Feigen Richard Feigen ... Himself
Frances Beatty Frances Beatty ... Herself - Richard L. Feigen & Co.
Mort Janklow Mort Janklow ... Himself (as Morton Janklow)
Janet Giffra Janet Giffra ... Herself - Johnson's cousin
Richard Lippold Richard Lippold ... Himself
Billy Name Billy Name ... Himself
Dorothy Lichtenstein Dorothy Lichtenstein ... Herself
Christo ... Himself
Jeanne-Claude Jeanne-Claude ... Herself
Malka Saffro Malka Saffro ... Herself
Eric Granros Eric Granros ... Himself
Nick Maravell Nick Maravell ... Himself
Peter Schuyff Peter Schuyff ... Himself
Buster Cleveland Buster Cleveland ... Himself (as Buster Cleaveland)
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Storyline

The story of the life of artist Ray Johnson is cloaked in mystery not only at the moment of his death, but also throughout a career that was difficult to know and to understand. As one of the seminal figures in the Pop Art era, Johnson is known as the founding father of mail art and as a collagist extraordinaire. But, overshadowed by those like Warhol who manipulated that world in a very dissimilar manner, he was also a reclusive and sometimes enigmatic figure who has been called New York's most famous unknown artist, but who challenged the commercial and critical establishment. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

artist | art | new york | pop art | mail art | See All (5) »

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 2002 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,706, 14 March 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,706, 14 March 2004
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Son Of Godzilla - Main Title
Composed by Masaru Satô
Courtesy of Toho Music Corporation
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User Reviews

 
Solid Documentary, Maybe Not the Best Introduction
9 June 2010 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

"How to Draw a Bunny" is a documentary on Ray Johnson, known as the most famous artist you've never heard of. And rightfully so: despite being a fixture of the New York art scene and having such notable friends as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Johnson never achieved the widespread acclaim with his collage work. Perhaps this film will slowly change that, years after his death.

I entered this film not knowing Ray Johnson or his work, which I think worked largely to my disadvantage. Generally, I like to watch documentaries on topics I am at least casually familiar with, to enter with a decent grasp of what will be explored. Going in blind provides an overload of information, and puts me in a position where I do not know what the angle might be. A Warhol documentary, for example, would have been more accessible, as I don't really much about him beyond the most basic information.

Ray Johnson as a person I think I like. The performances they showed were nothing special and his spoken word parts were not overly interesting, but he had quirks I really appreciated and think I would have admired him. As an artist, I am torn. While clearly talented, I do not know that his style suits my taste. Oddly, I enjoy both Warhol and Lichtenstein -- pop art is my guilty pleasure -- but Johnson is unlike either of them.

Perhaps most interesting was the story of his death. I don't want to give anything away, but this event is possibly what capped Johnson as a memorable artist. The coincidences, the mystery... it's all so strange and intriguing. I wish they would have gone into more detail on this part of his life...


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