|Boys in pools - iconographic at the time!|
The film A BIGGER SPLASH though remains a fascinating time capsule. It is a snapshot of Hockney's London life in the early '70s and focuses on the creative impulse. It ends with him in 1973 telling a new friend he is going to get rid of all the Peter stuff - Hazan then cuts back to a fashion show in 1971 as we follow David, Peter and pals around their Notting Hill enclave, there is a manufactured drama too about him going missing in New York.
A key movie then about an artist at work, and an early 'gay interest' title - there weren't many others around then, apart from Fassbinder's. Hazan's film could be titled "David and his friends"... Rather sad too really, as we look back to that carefree era - Mo died of Aids in the '80s and Ossie was killed by one of his lovers. Nice though to see the David of that era again with the blond hair and the signature glasses and the candy coloured clothes .... it brings it all back, including seeing him in a bar in Notting Hill in 1966, when I was a mere 20. Peter Schlesinger brought out his own book of photographs of that era a few years ago "A Chequered Past" and that of course is fascinating too.
You really have to know and like Hockney and his back catalogue to get the most out of Hazan's "documentary" though, non-art devotees could find it pretentious and boring, as these people sit around in their rarified bubble, visiting each other, bringing flowers (lots of Hockney's trademark tulips) as poor Mo witters on about how Hockney's failing relationship is affecting them all and the mysterious enigmatic Peter (who presumably had his own agenda and must have co-operated with Hazan fully) comes and goes on his bicycle, dances in his underwear, walks around naked (in a supposed dream of Hockney's!), does a sex scene and poses by that pool (Tony Richardson's actually in the South of France).