Chuck Close (image 1)

“A strangely absorbing spectacle. If you are even remotely interested in the art world, this is a must-see.” — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Chuck Close 2007

Directed by Marion Cajori

This portrait of the great New York portraitist, he of the giant photorealist heads, is an exemplary artist documentary. “If you are even remotely interested in the art world, this is a must-see.” — Time Out NY

USA In English
116 minutes DigiBeta

Director, Producer

Photography

Mead Hunt
,
Ken Kobland
,
David Leitner

Editors

Marion Cajori
,
Ken Kobland

Sound

Judy Karp
,
Bill Wander

With

Leslie Close
,
Janet Fish
,
Mark Greenwold
,
Philip Glass
,
Arne Glimcher
,
Alex Katz
,
Klaus Kertess
,
Brice Marden
,
Elizabeth Murray
,
Robert Rauschenberg
,
Kiki Smith

Elsewhere

This portrait of the great New York portraitist, he of the giant photorealist heads, is an exemplary artist documentary. It covers Close's personal and professional history in a relaxed but thorough manner without stinting on documenting his fascinating artistic process. Over the course of the film (several months in real time), we follow Close as he works amiably through a colossal self-portrait, humming along to old jazz as he methodically decorates the mass of tiny squares that make up the vast canvas. The film regularly darts off to fill in, in a parallel way, the different squares that make up his life, drafting in fellow 70s art darlings Robert Rauschenberg, Philip Glass and Kiki Smith, along with friends and family. Close's inquisitive, avuncular personality makes him the real star of the show, however. The sight of him perched in his wheelchair (he has been largely paralysed for the last 20 years), merrily plugging away at a work of such magnitude and beauty, is one of the most inspirational images of the Festival. — AL