Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Hockney, again

For UK viewers, that recent documentary on David Hockney, now on dvd, screens on BBC2 this coming Saturday, 14th March, at  9pm. 

It was shown at last year's London Film Festival, and had a cinema release in November. The blurb says:
HOCKNEY is the definitive exploration of one of the most significant artists of his generation. For the first time David Hockney has given access to his personal archive of photogaphs and film, resulting in an unparalleled visual diary of a long life. The film chronices his vast career, from his early life in working-class Bradford, where his love of pictures was developed through his admiration for the cinema, to his relocation to Hollywood, where his lifelong struggle to escape labels was fully realised. Paradoxically, this escape to live the American Dream did not break the ties to the childhood that formed him. We see his upbringing and life experiences give him the willpower to survive relationship problems, and later the AIDS epidemic, and also allow him to create some of the most renowned works of the past century. Acclaimed filmmaker Randall Wright offers a unique view of this unconventional artist who is now reaching new peaks of popularity worldwide, as charismatic as ever, and at 77 still working in the studio 7 days a week.  
I didn't imagine it would be as graphic as Jack Hazan's 1974 A BIGGER SPLASH (see Hockney label), which had unparalleled access to David too, capturing the younger Hockney at his early Seventies peak, and his then group of friends  - it uses liberal clips from the Hazan film, including that scene with David in the shower, and some clips from those various BBC documentaries that I liked on Hockney over the last 20 years or so, as it focuses on those early years. We do not see too much of the older Hockney or his recent works. 

We liked that A BIGGER SPLASH poster at the time, and that film is also on Blu-ray now. The recent Hockney books - that two volume biograhy by Christopher Simon Sykes - and those recent successful exhibitions were covered here, as per Hockney label. I like this Sixtes photo too ....... 
As mentioned before, I remember being in a bar in Notting Hill, it must have been mid 1966 (when I was 20) - and saw him there, he must have been on a trip over from America, that blond hair and round glasses made him totally individual, as of course blondes have more fun!  
Now he is the quite deaf Grand Old Man of British Art in his late seventies. ,,, as per my previous posts on him, and his recent exhibitions of those huge new pictures of his on British landscapes. David has now returned to California, following that tragic death of one of his assistants, It will be interesting to see the documentary again on television. 
It touches again on that late '60s/early '70s relationship with Peter Schlesinger, who seems depicted as Hockney's main long relationship, but he later spent more time with Gregory Evans or John Fitzherbert who are not mentioned in this new film but it is a dazzling kaleidoscope trawl in day-glo colours through the Hockney decades. 

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