Aug 27, 2007

[Movies] Art School Confidential

Art School ConfidentialArt School Confidential is one of those art films that we bought some time ago but never found time to watch right away. It was a blind purchase that did not involve any prior knowledge of the film and just relied on the fact that it was somewhat alternative / independent and these are rare things amongst the "Asian versions" of DVDs we all purchase here in the Philippines sooner or later.

When we did finally get to see it today, my partner Brian and I were pretty surprised by the piece. Like after seeing any work of art, I'm still a bit undecided in terms of how much I like the movie. Still, it is an interesting piece that is rather thought-provoking and fun to discuss over coffee with some of your smarter friends.

The movie centers around the life of young aspiring artist Jerome as played by Max Minghella of Bee Season fame. This guy seems to have a penchant for unusual dramatic roles and certainly this one in particular is no exception.

In the movie, which is actually based on a comic of the same name, Jerome has enrolled at the Strathmore Institute, a prestigious art school with such unique faculty members as (surprise, surprise) John Malkovich and Anjelica Huston. Here Jerome struggles to find himself as an artists, try and win the girl of his dreams all against the backdrop of eccentric artists like himself and a series of murders involving a mysterious strangler.

The movie is painful in many parts - not because it's that bad but more because of the circumstances Jerome is put in and just how pretentious a lot of art students can be as they try to over-analyze paintings and utter supposedly deep and meaningful interpretations of various works. It gets stifling at times but I guess in some ways that's the point - sometimes we get overly intellectual and forget to state the obvious I guess.

The story in itself is very strong and I have to give the writers credit for that. Minghella has the role of the brooding intellectual teen down pat and his performance here is pretty good - there's been some definite growth since Bee Season. It's definitely the kind of movie I'd recommend to friends if only to get their opinion about it and have someone to discuss and dissect it with. I feel it's that kind of a movie, something akin to Rushmore, another art film I particularly liked.

This is not your typical film that can be adequately captured in so many words and not something that everyone will enjoy, I think. However if you want to see something that'll make you think and have you trying to twist your brain into new shapes just to understand it, then you might want to give this one a shot.


  1. watched d film. i rented it b4 in video ct, and now hav a dvd (pirated) copy of it. What caught my interest is d art subject of it (being an informal art student my self, esp during nude sessions, hehehe).

    What i found weird was dat y d under cover policeman got all d credits for his works until he was exposed. And then d ending, d unappreciated hero, from anonymous to famous (parang bench)but d price he had to pay, jail!

    nevertheless, d film is worthy to be included in my collection (aside from brokeback, transville, M2m masahe & d likes, hehehe... now where can i get those belami collection???... lol!

  2. it was very interesting and it's trying to show how convuluted the art world can get at times and how fickle the opinions can get in terms of what people like and dont like.