CRACKING THE FRAME – KUSAMA – INFINITY

A genuinely felt portrait of the artist as a dedicated survivor, ever in service to her vision of the world and fighting for her place in it. – LA Times

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KUSAMA – INFINITY
Heather Lenz
USA – 2018 – 76 min

Kusama – Infinity explores artist Yayoi Kusama’s journey from a conservative upbringing in Japan to her brush with fame in America during the 1960s (where she rivaled Andy Warhol for press attention) and concludes with the international fame she has finally achieved within the art world. Now in her 80s, Kusama has spent the last 30 years living in a mental institution in Japan.

Kusama – Infinity explores Kusama’s fierce determination to become a world-renowned artist. Kusama was born into a conservative family in rural Japan and she made her way to America on the heels of WWII. There, without connections and speaking only broken English, she devoted herself to her one true love, making art.

On her first day in New York, Kusama has stated that she climbed to the top of the Empire State Building, looked down upon the city below, and made a decision to stand out from everyone she saw below and become a star. She has received the Praemium Imperiale Laureate for lifetime achievement in painting, and was named the world’s ‘most popular artist’ and one of the ‘most expensive living female artist’ in 2014.

A sharp portrait of the trailblazing Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama – Little White Lies

Infinity is an essential watch in order to understand why Yayoi Kusama’s art matters, and how the person behind the dots is inspirational beyond the finite reach of our own individual universes. – Culture Whisperer

Cracking the Frame
Established in 2011, Cracking the Frame is a monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed documentary portraits of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
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Production stills of new interactive VR project

These pics are now a few months old but as the development of this VR production proceeds, publishing them seems to be an apt way to announce it. :)
These shots document the first research phase for an interactive VR experience that I am currently developing in company of three hugely talented individuals, multiple award-winner VR director Michael Beets, and the internationally renowned dancers / choreographers Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich.
The project has just started and will be produced in close collaboration with a trailblazing electronic music producer. I can’t reveal any names at the moment but remain tuned and more information will follow…

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Miraculous Trajectories – first teaser

I am thrilled to be finally able to share the first teaser of my latest production!
Miraculous Trajectories is the result of the very first collaboration between two landmark Chinese artists, the visual artist Cheng Ran and the electronic music producer Shao Yanpeng (aka Dead-J). Both artists have been blazing trails in their artistic fields for over a decade and I am humbled to be the person bringing them together for this truly extraordinary and unique A/V project.
Miraculous Trajectories is a 70-minute feature film that will be solely released as a film concert, with Shao Yanpeng’s original score performed live.
I will post more information about the film and the dates of the first events in the near future, for now enjoy the teaser.

CRACKING THE FRAME – ALONG FOR THE RIDE

“This rip-roaring tribute to a maverick artist trips along like a surreal odyssey, punctuated by lively reminiscences, choice clips and superb photographic material.” – The Hollywood Reporter

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ALONG FOR THE RIDE
Nick Ebeling | USA | 2016 | 90 min

Method actor, filmmaker, photographer, fine artist, art collector, and all-American madman—the many sides of Dennis Hopper are explored in Nick Ebeling’s dazzling documentary about the iconic Hollywood maverick, confirming Hopper as a major filmmaker, a fact often eclipsed by his legend. Through the triumph of Easy Rider, the magnificent career suicide of The Last Movie, the overlooked masterpiece Out of the Blue, and a midlife comeback after plenty of booze and brawling,

The story unfolds from the unique perspective of right-hand man, consistent partner in crime, and one of Hopper’s closest and oldest friends for over four decades, Satya del la Manitou.

With candid commentary from a rich array of figures from Hopper’s life, such as Wim Wenders, David Lynch, Michael Madsen, Dean Stockwell and Frank Gehry, ALONG FOR THE RIDE is a freewheeling work of film biography, with an equally memorable original score by Gemma Thompson of the critically acclaimed rock band Savages.

“What’s ultimately moving about “Along for the Ride” is that it communicates how Dennis Hopper, by sticking true to his reckless muse, was an artist who changed things, and maybe changed everything.” – Variety

 “A wondrous journey inside the mind and actions of Hopper. Full of insight, passion, love, wonder and stories of a friendship that define an era which could arguably have been the last great hurrah of true courage and revolt for America.” – Huffington Post

Premiere screening at Rialto Amsterdam, Wednesday 21 February 19:30h.
Extra screenings in selected Dutch and Belgian cinemas throughout March.

Cracking the Frame

Established in 2011, Cracking the Frame is a monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed documentary portraits of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
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CRACKING THE FRAME – MAURIZIO CATTELAN: BE RIGHT BACK

“Maura Axelrod’s film builds a compelling and intimate portrait. Bold, witty… as playful as a Cattelan work itself…” – BBC

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MAURIZIO CATTELAN: BE RIGHT BACK
Maura Axelrod | USA | 2016 | 94 min

Maurizio Cattelan is one of the most successful and controversial artists of our time, and one of the most unpredictable. Notoriusly provocative and elusive, Cattelan made his career on playful and subversive works that send up the artistic establishment.

Cattelan shook up the contemporary art world in the late 1980s with a series of action-based installations, including his first solo show in Milan, ‘Torno Subito (Be Right Back)’. Over his twenty-year career, he continued to inspire, disorient and insult, with satirical artworks portraying Adolf Hitler as a schoolboy or a meteorite hitting Pope John Paul II, and culminating in an all encompassing installation and retirement in 2011.

Filmmaker Maura Axelrod fascinatingly excavates Maurizio Cattelan’s disruptive and indelible career as the preminent art-world prankster of our time, interviewing curators, collectors and ex-girlfriends on what makes this most compelling of conceptual visionaries really tick.

Easily the most entertaining art film since Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop” – Variety

“Probing, wistful, and at times hilarious… an uproarious and thought-provoking film” – New York Times

Premiere screening at Rialto Amsterdam, Wednesday 17 January 19:30h.
Extra screenings in selected Dutch and Belgian cinemas throughout February.

Cracking the Frame

Established in 2011, Cracking the Frame is a monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed documentary portraits of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
Facebook
Website

 

The Lake of Scars

Lake of Scars

I am extremely glad to announce that I will be co-producing Bill Code’s new feature documentary The Lake of Scars!

The film documents the unlikely partnerships between an Aboriginal activist, a local farmer and a young indigenous entrepreneur to save one of the most unique archaeological, cultural and environmental sites in Australia.
The Lake of Scars is a portrait of a hidden facet of Australian history and environment and a musing on what reconciliation can look like.

Bill Code is an award-winning documentary and short-film producer with a background in video journalism. His documentaries appear regularly on the BBC, ABC, Agence France Presse, SBS, Al Jazeera and The Guardian. Bill’s 2016 short documentary Tent City for the BBC took home the Outstanding Online Video gong at the Kennedy Awards.

I am thrilled to be joining such a talented filmmaker in his first feature length production!

 

 

CRACKING THE FRAME – THE SEASONS IN QUINCY: FOUR PORTRAITS OF JOHN BERGER

“My heart born naked
was swaddled in lullabies.
Later alone it wore
poems for clothes.
Like a shirt
I carried on my back
the poetry I had read.”
― Extract from: John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos

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THE SEASONS IN QUINCY: FOUR PORTRAITS OF JOHN BERGER
Colin MacCabe, Christopher Roth, Tilda Swinton & Bartek Dziadosz | UK | 2016| 89 min

Since 1973, the revered British art critic, writer and artist John Berger (1926 – 2017) has been living in the Alpine Village of Quincy. When he realised that subsistence peasant farming, which had sustained humanity for millennia, was drawing to an historical close, he chose to spend the rest of his life bearing witness to this vanishing existence, not least by participating in it.

THE SEASONS IN QUINCY is the result of a five-year project by Tilda Swinton and Colin MacCabe. In this unique documentary journey, four of Berger’s close friends collaborate on four very different film essays on the Booker Prize winner author of the landmark book and BBC television series “Ways of Seeing”. The four parts focus on different aspects of Berger’s life, intertwining ideas and motifs from his own work with the atmosphere of his mountain home, to compose a thought-provoking portrait of a multifaceted intellectual giant, and one of the last true Renaissance men.

“An essential document of an exemplary intellect, one who has as much to impart to the 21st century as he did to the 20th.” – NY Times

Premiere screening at Rialto Amsterdam, Wednesday 14 November 19:30h.
Extra screenings in selected Dutch and Belgian cinemas throughout December. 

Cracking the Frame

Established in 2011, Cracking the Frame is a monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed documentary portraits of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.

CRACKING THE FRAME – TROUBLEMAKERS: THE STORY OF LAND ART

 

“My new paintbrush is a Caterpillar” – Walter De Maria

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TOUBLEMAKERS: THE STORY OF LAND ART
James Crump | 2015 | USA | 74 min

Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film portrays renegade New York artists Robert Smithson, Walter De Maria and Michael Heizer, who sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desolate desert spaces of the American southwest.

Land artists were exploring a larger canvas to work on while simultaneously seeking to create works that induced awe in the viewer, thus producing a new kind of pilgrimage and a new kind of visceral viewing experience. These revolutionary artists took on the establishment to produce art on their own terms. Their radical experience changed the landscape of art forever.

Through rare period footage, new interviews and extraordinary aerial images of the most significant land art sites, TRUBLEMAKERS takes viewers on an immersive cinematic ride through the bellicose and uncompromising history of the land art movement.

“Takes it place among the great art documentaries of the last half-century.” – The Wall Street Journal

This special screening will be introduced by Jean Bernard Koeman
Jean Bernard Koeman is a visual artist and exhibition maker. From 1998 through to the end of 2002, he was the driving force and inspiring director of Arts Centre W139 in Amsterdam.

Premiere screening at Rialto Amsterdam, Wednesday 18 October 19:30h.
Extra screenings in selected Dutch and Belgian cinemas throughout November. 

Cracking the Frame

Established in 2011, Cracking the Frame is a monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed documentary portraits of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.