The Cool School

Director: Morgan Neville
Year: 2007
Country: USA
Running time: 86 mins
Screenplay: Morgan Neville, Kristine McKenna
Photography: Morgan Neville, Dylan Robertson, Chris Perkel
Editors: Dylan Robertson, Chris Perkel
Music: Dan Crane, William Ungerman
Narrator: Jeff Bridges
Colour and B&W

With: Ed Ruscha, Frank Gehry, Billy Al Bengston, Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell
Festivals: London 2007

"Filmmaker and Los Angeles resident Morgan Neville explores the emergence and impact of the beat-era LA art scene. Delving into the archives, Neville assembles a wonderful collage of footage to create a vivid picture both of the art world in the late 50s and early 60s and of the broader culture of LA itself. This is judiciously contextualised by up-to-date interviews with the artists, curators and collectors who together shaped this influential, vividly American intervention, and whose creativity and insight should lay to rest the cliché of LA as cultural wasteland. Those on camera include artists Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Billy Al Bengston, Walter Hopps (of the hugely significant Ferus gallery), Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell and Frank Gehry." — Sandra Hebron, London Film Festival

"Smart, jazzy and unafraid to deflate egos, Morgan Neville's fast-paced, finely critical study makes for a pungent intro to a movement now esteemed as a key alternative to the New York Abstract Expressionist stranglehold." — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY