Sarasota Film Festival: Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers is the chronicle of 11 artists that raised the status if low-brow/pop art through New York's Alleged Gallery starting in the 90s. They came back together in 2004 to put on a show under the same name as this film with 30 other artists and put out a book under that title in 2005. This doc covers those core artists through their childhood to their time at Alleged to the show and tosses around ideas about influence, purpose and the movement.

The film is really interesting if you're already familiar with this subject and great even if you aren't. There were several points when I felt myself hoping that they would branch out with some other artists though. Admittedly it is difficult to make a narrative out of something as multidirectional as the personal lives of 11 artists, their connections and inspirations, and I really did enjoy it but it needed more... zazz.

Aaron Rose, the director, curated Alleged Gallery in the 90s and is featured in several interview segments. He and Mike Mills, Stephen Powers, Ed Templeton and Barry McGee provide the best introspective monologues for the film. Some of their thoughts revolve around the need to give life purpose through expression, hold onto that childlike skill for limitless ideas, and reject the traditional art world's snobby, depressing and cathartic ways.

Margaret Kilgallen, who passed away in 2001, has the most technically impressive pieces in the film. The coolest shots for me were from the 2004 show and the signage they created for Coney Island because I read about the show in Juxtapoz back in '05 and I've personally seen the Coney stuff but didn't know their involvement. Paul Moore said in his review that Rose told him if people don't leave the film inspired to create, he failed. For me he didn't fail.


rkzx said...

Looks awesome, sad I missed out.

Kate said...

Yay, I am such a fan. I can't wait till it comes out in New York.