The team at Garage and the international Beat Film Festival of documentaries about modern culture have created a special film program for Garage Screen Summer Cinema in Gorky Park.
This year, the joint film program with Beat Film Festival includes three movies which focus on the artists’ vision of art’s social mission. In frames of different creative approaches, pictures offer insights into the art world in the context of its characters’ daily routine, their commercial and social ambitions, issues of freedom and devotion.
The program opens with Faces Places (2017) documentary blockbuster by Agnès Varda and JR, which was awarded the Golden Eye documentry prize at the Cannes Film Festival. This picture also won the Audience Choice award at the Toronto Film Festival and was an Oscar nominee. Agnès Varda, one of the leading lights of New Wave, and world-famous street artist JR travel through rural France and take photographs of people around the country to create their mural paintings afterwards.
The filmmakers represent a perfect screen couple: he is thirty-three, never letting go of his black hat and sunglasses; she is ninety, losing her vision and constantly recalling her friend and colleague Jean-Luc Godard. A road movie composed of funny and touching scenes at some point turns into a philosophical picture on the nature of time which can only be stopped with the help of art.
Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2017) by Sara Driver is dedicated to the life of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on the eve of universal recognition and commercial success. We see the main character and his friend Al Diaz drawing graffiti with the inscrutable SAMO abbreviation (Same Old Shit) all over New York and attempting to steal a girlfriend from Jim Jarmusch.
The formal rigidity of the story lets the director focus on the right perspective and avoid creating another grand portrait of the late 1980s superstar and “the most expensive American artist of all times”. Driver dispenses with cliché and shows the artist who hasn’t yet met Andy Warhol or made the cover of The New York Times Magazine, but has already discovered his unique style and language.
The Price of Everything (2018) by twice Oscar nominated Nathaniel Kahn presents a captivating research of contemporary art economics in an attempt to answer the most common question: why does it cost so much? For this purpose, Kahn meets the main characters of the contemporary art scene, including artist Jeff Koons and the Chairman of the Fine Art division of Sotheby's Amy Cappellazzo, inspects vast private collections and museum storages, and visits auctions.
This year Beat Film Festival will hold, for the first time, parallel film screenings: Grey Gardens (1975) by the renowned masters of American documentaries Albert and David Maysles and That Summer (2018) by the Swedish director Göran Hugo Olsson.
The first picture is dedicated to Edith Bouvier Beale, cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy known as “Little Edie”, and her mother, “Big Edie”, who secluded themselves in a half-destroyed family estate in 1952.
That Summer is one of the most unexpected movies of the last Berlinale and a kind of a prequel to Grey Gardens. It turns out that before the Maysles brothers, the story of the Beale family was picked up by photographer Peter Bird and socialite Lee Radziwill, cousin of Edith Jr. Together with Jonas Mekas and Andy Warhol, they visited the two hermits to capture their life and relationship on film. Several decades later Olsson tracked down this rare footage and made it into a movie which expands the poetic universe of Grey Gardens.