CRACKING THE FRAME – MAPPLETHORPE – LOOK AT THE PICTURES

“It forces viewers to take long looks at his most controversial imagery, proving that he still has the power to provoke, seduce and enrage.” ★★★★ The Guardian

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MAPPLETHORPE: LOOK AT THE PICTURES
Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato | USA | 2016 | 108 min

“Look at the pictures,” said Senator Jesse Helms, denouncing the controversial art of Robert Mapplethorpe, whose photographs pushed boundaries with frank depictions of nudity, sexuality and fetishism.
MAPPLETHORPE: LOOK AT THE PICTURES is the first definitive portrait of the controversial American artist Robert Mapplethorpe, from his early beginnings in New York City to his meteoric rise in the art world and untimely death in 1989. With unprecedented access to The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the documentary features never-before-seen photographs and footage of the elusive artist. Mapplethorpe himself is a strong presence, telling his story in his own words through recently rediscovered audio recordings, with complete honesty and often shocking candor.
This is the unique portrait of an artist who turned photography into contemporary fine art. Acclaimed directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (“Inside Deep Throat”; “Party Monster”; “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”) explore the blurred lines between Mapplethorpe’s personal and professional lives. An unflinching, unprecedented look at Mapplethorpe most provocative work and the one thing more outrageous than Robert Mapplethorpe’s art, his own life.

 “A remarkable achievement” ★★★★ The Times
“A candid, often shocking documentary portrait of a great photographer” ★★★★ Time Out
 “A thoughtful, compelling documentary.” ★★★★ The Financial Times
 “Beautiful and clear-eyed documentary” ★★★★ BBC

This special screening will take on Wednesday 22 March 19:30h at Rialto Amsterdam with an introduction by Rob Jurka, founder of Galerie Jurka. Opened in Amsterdam in 1970, Galerie Jurka was the first art gallery in Europe to show photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and to publish a catalogue dedicated to his work. More screenings will follow in other Dutch cities in April. 

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.

CRACKING THE FRAME – THE MUSES OF BASHEVIS SINGER

“A harem full of translators would be heaven on earth.” – Bashevis Singer

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Wednesday 24 February, 19:30, Rialto Amsterdam
THE MUSES OF BASHEVIS SINGER
Asaf Galay & Shaul Betser | Israel | 2014 | 72 min

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991) became the first Yiddish language author to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978. After emigrating from Poland to the United States Singer became widely renowned for his short stories full of sharp sense of humour, absurdity and sensuality. While Singer arose to become the most internationally famous and successful Yiddish writer of all times, not many people were aware that for most of his career the writer worked with a ‘harem’ of dozens of young female translators. Beyond acting as simple translators, these women were a vital source of his creativity and the inspiration he drew from them came in many forms, often mixing romance with professional collaboration. Through their work, these intelligent and literary women introduced Singer to audiences around the world.
THE MUSES OF BASHEVIS SINGER reveals the unique collaboration between the writer and his translators by giving voice to the remaining nine of them, offering a delightful glimpse behind the curtain of Singer’s personality and his literary methods. Mixing intimate interviews and exclusive archival footage, the film retells the writer’s career through the eyes of the people who knew him best while bringing in the spotlight the often underrated role of translators and their own artistic practise.

“Dozens of women throughout Singer’s life worked with him to open the doors to his singular Yiddish prose for the rest of the world to enjoy, and his relationships with many of them blurred the lines between the professional and the personal. This is their story, and his—as well as a story of the arts of literature, translation, love, and life itself.” – Filmlinc
“This is a neat little film. Very much recommended.” – Unseen Films
“Israeli directors Shaul Betser and Asaf Galay tracked down nine of these women and some wonderful footage–not just of Singer’s interviews over the years (in one of which, with Dick Cavett in 1979, he takes exception to the commandment against adultery) but of Singer at work with his translators. […] All this behind-the-scenes creative stuff is so interesting, it may distract from the fact that, then as now, the famous take advantage of those who feel honored just to be next to them.” – Huffington Post

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.

CRACKING THE FRAME – IRIS

“A love letter to individualism, and the love that fuels it. – Little White Lies”

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Wednesday 18 November, 19:30h, Rialto Amsterdam

IRIS

Albert Maysles
USA | 2014 | 80 min
In English with no subtitles

IRIS pairs legendary 87-year-old documentarian Albert Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style icon who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades.

More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how a soaring free spirit continues to inspire and to find her own inspiration. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are real life’s sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment.

IRIS is the last film of iconic American director Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter, Salesman), celebrated by The New York Times as “the dean of documentary filmmakers”. In the typical observational style that he pioneered, Maysles follows the quirky subject of his film as she moves through the New York fashion world. The result is a deeply inspiring, funny and heart-warming portrait of a true anti-conformist.

*****

A joyous celebration of creativity and razor-sharp wit sustained into old age, as evinced by outspoken nonagenarian fashion icon Iris Apfel, Iris also offers proof of Albert Maysles’ continued vitality as a documentarian. – Variety

Like all good documentaries, Iris is about much more than what we see on the surface, no matter how dazzling that surface may be. – The Village Voice

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed arts documentaries and artists’ films.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.

CRACKING THE FRAME – ALTMAN

Like a jazz musician taking a long, always unpredictable half-century solo, Altman was in constant motion, relentlessly blurring the line between life and art.

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Wednesday 23 September, 19:30h, Rialto Amsterdam

ALTMAN

Ron Mann
Canada | 2014 | 96 min
In English with no subtitles

An in-depth look at the life and times of legendary filmmaker Robert Altman, author of landmark films such as M*A*S*H, The Long Goodbye, Nashville, The Player, Short Cuts, Gosford Park and many more.

While refusing to bow down to Hollywood‘s conventions, or its executives, Altman‘s unique style of filmmaking won him friends and enemies, earned him world-wide praise and proved that it is possible to make truly independent films.
The very term “Altmanesque” has come to denote a cinematic style characterized by dark
humor, chaotic choreography, overlapping dialogue, multi-layered storylines, iconoclastic characters and an ensemble approach to imagining and crafting a film.

Altman himself acts a guide through Ron Mann’s crafty cinematic portrait. Mann mixes archival footage and new interviews with Altman’s key players (Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, Lyle Lovett, Julianne Moore, Elliott Gould, Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael Murphy, James Caan, Bruce Willis…) and family members to give unprecedented access to the Altman vault. ALTMAN is the first documentary to present the director and his work in an inspired form that echoes Altman’s own approach.

An affectionate, moving portrait of the legendary director […] that leads you from Altman’s life back to his films, and makes you want to see them anew. – The Globe and Mail

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed arts documentaries and artists’ films.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.

CRACKING THE FRAME – BALLET 422

“A delightfully immersive look at how a ballet is created.” – The New York Post

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Wednesday 20 May, 19.30h, Rialto Amsterdam

BALLET 422

Jody Lee Lipes
USA | 2014 | 75 min
Dutch premiere

An intimate vérité portrait offering a rare peek into the highly-guarded world of professional ballet.
From first rehearsal to world premiere, BALLET 422 takes us backstage at New York City Ballet, one of the world’s most important ballet companies in the world, and illuminates the process behind the creation of a modern dance piece.

When 25-year-old NYCB dancer Justin Peck begins to emerge as a promising young choreographer, he is commissioned to create a new ballet for the company’s winter season, the 422nd ballet in the history of NYCB.
With unprecedented access to the company, the film follows Peck as he collaborates with musicians, lighting designers, costume designers and his fellow dancers, working under growing pressure to create his ballet Paz de la Jolla on time.

BALLET 422 will be introduced by Peter Leung, creative director and choreographer of House of Makers alongside dancer Wendeline Wijkstra, both of who are currently working for The Dutch National Ballet.

Best Documentary Nomination – Tribeca 2014 and Seattle International Film Festival 2014

“BALLET 422 is more visually sumptuous than most narratives you’re likely to see this year, featuring careful compositions that make watching the film an aesthetic experience as much as an intellectual one.” – The Village Voice

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed arts documentaries and artists’ films.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.

CRACKING THE FRAME – REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG

“The only interesting answers are those which destroy the question.” Susan Sontag

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18 March 2015, 19.30h, Rialto Amsterdam

REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG

Nancy Kates
USA | 2014 | 100 min

REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a vibrant portrait of the American essayist, critic, novelist, filmmaker, outspoken feminist, and public intellectual Susan Sontag
An intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century.

Passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation.
Fiercely private about her personal life, but coolly fearless in the public arena, Sontag commanded attention for more than four decades through a rich output of writings and films.

REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG explores Sontag’s life through archival materials, animations, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, read by Patricia Clarkson.

From her early infatuation with books to her first experience in a gay bar; from her early marriage to her most controversial public pronouncements, REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a fascinating look at a towering cultural critic whose works on photography, war, illness, art and terrorism still resonate today.

Special Jury Prize – 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

“A brutally honest portrait of one of the most important intellectual icons of the last century.” – Looped Magazine

“An intimate tribute to a woman who was “constantly being reborn” in her public assessment of the world around her. […] A serious-minded and aesthetically ambitious portrait.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed arts documentaries and artists’ films.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.

CRACKING THE FRAME – THE GREAT MUSEUM

A curious, witty and humorous peek behind the scenes at a world-famous cultural institution, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

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Wed 18 February 2015, 19.30h, Rialto Amsterdam

THE GREAT MUSEUM
Johannes Holzhausen
Austria | 2014 | 94 min

This award-winning documentary observes the various processes involved in creating a perfect setting for art: from the managing director to the cleaning services team, from the carriers to the art historians, the staff members at the museum are all interdependent cogs in the same machine.

Director Johannes Holzhausen spent more than two years gathering material in the period prior to the grand reopening of the famed museum’s Kunstkammer rooms.
The resulting film is more than a documentary dedicated to a public institution but a carefully observed and stunningly filmed portrait of the ‘secret life’ of a major cultural institution.

THE GREAT MUSEUM offers glimpses of the day-to-day routine at the museum, while revealing the micro-dramas faced by the museum employees. For example, a conservator who discovers that a Rubens painting has been painted over several times; an elderly head of a collection who is about to head into retirement; an art historian who experiences the thrill and frustration of an auction; or the never ending discussions about the design of the museum’s new logo. But Holzhausen’s film also addresses more profound issues: is it possible to reconcile the conservation of the objects with an up-to-date presentation? What part does art play in the representation of national identity in politics and tourism?

Awards:
Berlinale 2014 Forum CALIGARI FILM PRIZE
Diagonale Festival 2014 Best Artistic Editing and Best Cinematography for a Documentary

“Wonderfully evocative and droll. […] As elegant as its subject. A jewel.” – Hollywood Reporter

“It offers us perspectives and insights that no normal visitor to the galleries would ever receive.” The Independent

ART AND CRAFT is also going to be screened in March in Breda (Chassé), Arnhem (Filmfocus), Haarlem (Filmschuur) and Leeuwarden (Slieker Film).

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed arts documentaries and artists’ films.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.

CRACKING THE FRAME – ART AND CRAFT

A fascinating look inside the troubled mind of a master of deception.” – Entertainment Weekly

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Wednesday 21 January, 19.30h at Rialto Amsterdam

ART AND CRAFT
Sam Cullman & Jennifer Grausman
USA | 2014 | 89 min

ART AND CRAFT tells the enigmatic story of Mark Landis, perhaps the most prolific art forger in US history. 
For over 30 years, this mysterious man has duped curators throughout the country with precise imitations of a vast range of works, from fifteenth century masterpieces to Picasso.
While the copies he creates could fetch impressive sums on the open market, Landis isn’t in it for money. He donates his counterfeits for free, going so far as to pose in such guises as a grieving executor of a family member’s will, a Jesuit priest or a philanthropic donor.
Landis’ decades-long fraud gets eventually discovered by a tenacious museum registrar who sets out to expose the man behind the counterfeits. What begins as a cat-and-mouse game between the two will quickly turn into a much more complicated affair, turning the registrar’s investigation into a personal obsession and finally revealing the complex reasons behind Landis’ true motives.

Directed by award winning filmmakers Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman (If A Tree Falls, The House I Live In), ART AND CRAFT addresses topics of authenticity, authorship and the purpose of art through the stranger-than-fiction tale of Mark Landis.

“An engrossing document of immense talents gone sideways.” – Indiewire

“A crowd-pleasing character study that doubles as an art-world detective story.” Wall Street Journal

“Perhaps the year’s most delightfully charming documentary.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune

ART AND CRAFT is also going to be screened in January in Breda (Chassé), Arnhem (Filmfocus), Den Haag (Filmhuis) and Leeuwarden (Slieker Film).

Cracking the Frame

A special program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed arts documentaries and artists’ films.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.

 

 

CRACKING THE FRAME – FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS

“I am condemned to paint.” – Bahman Mohasses

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Wednesday 10 December, 19.30h at Rialto Amsterdam

FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS
Mitra Farhani
US, Iran & France | 2013 | 96 min
Dutch premiere

Bahman Mohasses was one of the most celebrated artists in the pre-revolutionary Iran of the 60s and 70s.
Called the “Persian Picasso”, Mohasses was equally renowned for his iconoclastic paintings and sculptures as much as for his inflammatory public pronouncements.
After the Islamic revolution, Mohasses quickly went from national icon to persona non grata, his provocative works were censored and all traces of him were suddenly lost. It was said that he destroyed his remaining paintings and disappeared.

Several years after his last public appearance, filmmaker Mitra Farhani tracks him down in a hotel in Rome. Farhani, who began her career as a painter, patiently convinces the rancorous artist to tell his own story on camera.
The lyrical self-portrait resulting from their encounter reveals Mohasses’ artistic method and his poignant life philosophy. A joyous celebration of freedom—to create, to destroy, to love, to indulge, to pontificate and make withering judgments, and most of all to live without regret.

Winner of the International Competition at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI) 2014

“Stunningly multifaceted…surprising and deeply affecting. […]You might actually say the documentary itself is Mohassess’s final canvas, so infused it becomes with his alternately infuriating and infectious personality.” – FIVE STARS, Time Out NY

“Addictively fascinating…The lovely meeting of artistic sensibilities makes this doc sing.” – Critics PIck, Village Voice

“Thoughtful, moving…A portrait of the artist as a refusenik, a recluse, a survivor and a stubborn question mark.” The New York Times

FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS is also going to be screened in January in Breda (Chassé), Arnhem (Filmfocus) and Haarlem (Filmschuur).

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed art related documentaries and artists’ films.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through experimental documentaries and cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, filmmakers, writers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.