January 25, 2008

Sundance. The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins.

The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins "New Zealand director Pietra Brettkelly was in the Darfur region of Sudan working on a documentary when she happened to meet international renowned artist Vanessa Beecroft. Little did she realize that this chance meeting would lead to her next film - The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins." Melissa Silverstein talks with her for Zoom In Online.

Greg Allen is most definitely not a fan of Beecroft, a "vapid, superficial, self-absorbed aesthetic fetishist." He points to Logan Hill's "takedown" for New York's Vulture: "The doc cluster-bombs her faddish fascination with Sudanese orphans and paints Beecroft as a hypocritically self-aware, colossally colonial pomo narcissist. The film is brutally effective because it lets Beecroft hang herself with damaging quotes and appalling behavior." Greg also points to Matthu Placek's interview with Brettkelly for V Magazine.

Updated through 1/26.

"Beecroft discovers a pair of infant twins whose mother died," explains Stephen Farber in the Hollywood Reporter. "She becomes obsessed with the idea of adopting them and bringing them back to New York... But as her husband, Greg Durkin, asks pointedly, is she motivated by humanitarian impulses, or is she mesmerized by the exotic allure of underprivileged orphans? Has she been inspired by celebrities like Angelina Jolie? In short, does her attraction to the twins have the same exploitative element visible in her art?"

The doc "is challenging, fascinating, self-excoriating and often infuriating," writes Salon's Andrew O'Hehir.

Update, 1/26: This is "a brutally honest, remarkably self-critical reflection on foreign adoption that touches unexpectedly on issues of alienation and loneliness," writes Carina Chocano in the Los Angeles Times.

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Posted by dwhudson at January 25, 2008 7:05 AM