Bigger Splash

Silver Leopard
Locarno International Film Festival

... remains one of the more uniquely hypnotic movies about the connection between presented life and pulsating art.


A Bigger Splash

The painter David Hockney is thrown into a personal crisis during a protracted breakup with Peter Schlesinger, his longtime lover and an American ten years his junior.

Shuttling back-and-forth chronologically through the years 1971-73, A Bigger Splash shows the now-established thirtysomething Hockney hounded by dealer John Kasmin to produce more paintings, lured towards America by the New York curator Henry Geldzahler, and encouraged by friends like painter Patrick Procktor and the power couple Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell, all while his assistant Mo McDermott frets over him.

Hockney rushes to finish his Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) in time for a New York showing and to overcome the sorrow of the end of his affair with Schlesinger, all of which coincides with the decisive end of the Swinging London Youthquake, when he and his no longer young friends first found fame. Hockney’s social circle and the imaginary worlds of his canvases blend together as Jack Hazan’s unprecedented film progresses, creating an endlessly beguiling, deeply melancholic study of an artist and his milieu.

Docu-drama, Bio-pic, Art & Artists, Culture Vulture
Jack Hazan
David Hockney, Peter Schlesinger, Celia Birtwell
Winner, Silver Leopard, Locarno International Film Festival

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