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High Art 1998

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3.8 out of 5 stars (37) 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:
David Thornton, Radha Mitchell
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 43 minutes
Starring David Thornton, Radha Mitchell, Charis Michaelson, Gabriel Mann
Director Lisa Cholodenko
Studio TLA Releasing
Rental release 13 July 2009
Main languages English

Other formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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.
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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the Arty world, there are those who do and those that analyse what they do. The critics talk about Barthes and Foucault to try and frame the artist's work within an accepted critical theory. This was true of the photographer Lucy Berliner and the assistant editor of a magazine called 'Frame'
named Syd. Syd has a boyfriend,James and they live in a multi-occupied house below a bohemian set full of cocaine and heroin addicts who are completely wasted most of the time.

Syd and Lucy meet via a need to repair a leak from Lucy's bathroom which Syd fixes temporarily. It is then she notices Lucy's photos on the walls,mostly of women. Lucy has a possessive lover named Greta who is delusional in that she is trying to create her heyday in the German cinema of Fassbinder. She is a complete emotional wreck taking her dreams up her nose. Lucy tries to look after her. However, it isn't long before the first signs of an attraction between Lucy and Syd are made apparent ; Syd wants to re-introduce Lucy back to the world she abandoned years before; she wants Lucy to do some photo work for 'Frame'. Lucy is reluctant at first, 'I haven't been de-constructed in years'she said. Syd gets her editorial clique to talk to Lucy who agrees to do some work for the magazine as long it is Syd who edits her contributions.

At a party in Lucy's apartment,the two first become. close. Lucy is so calm as she tries to seduce Syd in her bedroom but, because Greta was having one of her turns, she had to be rescued from the bathroom. Greta begins to feel she is losing Lucy and James begins to feel the same way about Syd as he is more conventional than he realises. At the magazine, the editors look at the first photos presented.
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