High Art 1998

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(24) IMDb 6.7/10
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Syd meets Lucy, a legendary photographer, who takes her on an unexpected trip of self discovery. Slowly, Syd learns the dark truths of Lucy's life and she is forced to confront the price she has to pay for recognition and the unpredictable rewards of fame.

Starring:
Radha Mitchell, Gabriel Mann
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Starring Radha Mitchell, Gabriel Mann, Charis Michaelson, David Thornton
Director Lisa Cholodenko
Studio TLA Releasing
Rental release 13 July 2009
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Brrnrrd on 31 Mar 2005
Format: DVD
There is a theory about 'feel good' films and homosexuals. There was a time when lesbians were always violent psychopaths, as portrayed in 'The Killing of Sister George' - and then people decided that they would make happy-happy films about women who were completely okay with their sexualities despite the disapproval of others. Examples are Better than Chocolate, The incredible adventure of two girls in love. And then, people started to realise that such films were totally removed from reality and did not embrace the fact that not all lesbians/gay men are totally happy. This may have nothing to do with their sexuality, but there is some external force that is making them depressed. In the case of High Art, Lucy, one of the central characters is depressed because her girlfriend is a crackhead and her job in the professional art world is wearing her down mentally. The story has nothing to do with lesbians being strange, messed up creatures - but deals, quite maturely, with people who happen to be lesbians in a tight situation. I think there is often a lot of confusion about the difference between a film such as 'The Killing of Sister George' which is blatantly about victimisation, and High Art which is a bona fide tragedy in itself. Cholodenko has made a superb movie about a delicate and doomed relationship which is shot beautifully, has a lot of artistic and intellectual integrity - and is believable. Lucy and Syd's relationship is never properly consummated because Lucy decides that she doesn't care anymore. Syd's first time with a woman is not washed with yellow light, because it is understood that your first time, however old you are, can be a nerve racking experience.Read more ›
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Oct 2000
Format: VHS Tape
High Art
Who would have thought that The Breakfast Club and Neighbours would ever meet in celluloid?
Ally Sheedy, never the coolest person in the 80's, and Radha Mitchell, star of Love and Other Catastrophes and Neighbours (!) meet when Lucy's (Sheedy) bath leaks into Syd's (Mitchell) flat. In the great film world of chance both live with the photographic image and while Lucy admits that she 'hasn't been deconstructed for years' the audience are compelled to look for meaning the whole way through.
Don't think that this film is just another girl meets girl love story because it isn't. It's about obsession, ambition, desire and being given the chance to try out being someone new. If this film were a book it would come from the pen of Jeannette Winterson, the mind of William Bouroughs and the heart of an early John Irving.
This film is darker than Bound and not as pretentious as Go Fish. It reaches into the pit of your stomach and the piercing noise that opens the film stays until the closing credits. It's a noise like a small broken heart hiding behind the sofa and as the narrative shoots to its inevitable conclusion your heart vibrates in your chest.
This film works not because the camera created a perfect 'deviant' underworld (of sexuality, drugs, hedonism and apathy) or because the characters were tied in sexual tension, not even because Sheedy and Mitchell filled their roles perfectly. No this film works because the story doesn't glamorise the characters' faults. It inspires you to take pictures and look out for high art.....
Greta, who 'lives for Lucy', is the perfect femme fatale. Destructive, self possessed and unable to function without a constant supply of drugs she acts as the measurement of Syd's respectability and drive.
Read more ›
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By On the look out on 23 April 2009
Format: DVD
I couldn't be more excited to finally see High Art on DVD. This is in my book THE best lesbian movie out there. So good that it transcends audiences. Forget Loving Annabelle, Better Than Chocolate or The L Word, High Art beats the lot hands down.

If you are lucky enough to have not seen it yet, you are in for a VERY special treat. Apart from Itty Bitty Titty Committee it's been a while since a great storyline and awesome acting has graced our sapphic hearts!

And yes that is the indie queen Patricia Clarkson as Greta!

Just awesome - i cannot recommend this film enough!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Al Orange on 15 July 2009
Format: DVD
Quite simply High Art is a stunning piece of cinema. It has a fascinating and compelling storyline, is brilliantly shot and directed, and features some outstanding acting by Radha Mitchell, Ally Sheedy and Patricia Clarkson. In fact, I first saw this film on tv many years ago, and until I saw her in something else, I actually thought Patricia Clarkson was a german actor. That's how convincing these performances
are. The themes of art, drug use, and lesbian sexuality are ones that are seldom portrayed convincingly on film, and yet the realistic filming style lures you into the characters lives until the final revelations leaves you emotionally reeling. As soon as I saw this was out on dvd I bought it, and when I watched it again I was not disappointed. This is a work of art, a finely crafted piece of storytelling that will stay with you for a long time, and one that you will want to watch again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Turner on 24 Jan 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A marvelous film. Beautiful in the real connection between people. To me it doesn't matter that it's lesbian love. I can't remember the last time I saw a film that put over falling in love and being in love anywhere near as well. It's not only about love but puts over equally well the underbelly of their artistic scene. Written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko. She is obviously an incredibly sensitive director to bring out great performances from every one of her actors. Radha Mitchell was simply superb but then again everyone here was brilliant. "Greta" doesn't speak clearly but after the film, her performance is understood and her enunciation is something great in itself. This film heralds the coming of some major talents and reminders of the major talents of those already well into their careers. One of the great films of the last 10 years: don't miss it!
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