A fictionalised biopic on painter David Hockney’s life between 1970 and 1973. This quasi-documentary follows the artist, as well as his circle of friends, and captures the agonized end of the lingering affair between him and his muse, an American named Peter Schlesinger.
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This unusual and sometimes unsettling film is a kind of staged documentary that could not have been made without the cooperation of people who were going though genuine challenges in their life at the time.
Is A BIGGER SPLASH a "documentary" about David Hockney? You'd have to proceed to append so many qualifiers as to effectively bury the designation. There is a major engagement here with tendencies in experimental/underground film, especially out of America. The Anthology Film Archives Universe, if you will. It is also a daring and highly inscrutable metaphysical mystery not unlike a Robbe-Grillet. Utterly captivating.
An interesting idea rendered powerless by the fact that David Hockney and his friends act in exactly the affected and pretentious way that anyone doing an impression of a modern artist would. Some moments still manage to work, but far too much of this now seems unintentionally comedic, I'm sorry to say.