ART BASTARD, the new documentary about a New York artist of whom TrustMovies had never before heard: Robert Cenedella. This talented but far-too-unrecognized fellow and his story prove such fun to get to know that the film's 84 minutes simply fly by. In the process -- and this is the movie's ace-in-the-hole -- Mr. Cenedella offers up a witty, joyous, charming and utterly deserved takedown of the "art market" and "art industry" as they have existed for, oh, maybe the past half-century (at least).
YES ART exhibit from 1965 that Cenedella produced and mounted (one particularly piquant piece is shown below), I went quite banana-nirvana. (I wish I had followed the art world more closely back in the 1960s so that I would have seen this groundbreaking show.)
Victor Kanefsky (shown at left), one of whose most famous editing jobs was on Bloodsucking Freaks, the documentary just bubbles along handily, as though it were writing and filming itself (this is a compliment, by the way). Kanefsky bounces between statements from his subject to those from some other art bigwigs, as well as from The Nation's Victor Navasky -- all of which makes us think about exactly what Cenedella wants us to think about: What is art? And what is "good" art?
Pieter Bruegel to George Grosz, the latter of whom, not coincidentally was Cenedella's art instructor and dear friend. (The commissioned painting below was done for the famous New York restaurant, Le Cirque -- and the movie offers up a very tasty revenge tale associated with this piece.)
CAVU Pictures -- remember its bizarre "charmer," Lucky Bastard, from a couple of years back? -- opens Friday, June 3, in New York City at the Angelika Film Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, and then on June 10 in Washington DC at the Angelika PopUp, and on June 17 in Los Angeles (at Laemmle's Monica Film Center) and San Diego (at the Angelika Film Center, Carmel Mountain). A limited, nationwide rollout is then promised during the weeks and months to come. Click here to see currently scheduled playdates with cities and theaters.
Rose Mary Woods, actually helped him do it.