[review] of Fur- an imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by neilpeters, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Skip to the bottom line, worth seeing? Yes. Is this a movie about
    photography that a photographer might learn from or marvel over Diane's work?
    Nope. Actually, none of Diane's work is even in the movie, which was kinda
    surprising. Although the characters she photographed are throughout the
    movie, just being themselves. Is this a movie Nicole Kidman did to stretch
    her acting skills and resume? Absolutely. And Robert Downey jr. did it, just
    to further enhance his odd-character wierdness. His character is the
    imaginary part of the portrait of Arbus. To me, it is more a glimpse into her
    artistic mind on the verge of mild insanity moving towards suiside and leaving
    the 'good life' behind.

    Considering the talent involved in the movie, this is a cheapie artsy film
    with a very short run. It only ran 5 days here. And on the 5th and last day
    when I saw it, only 12 people were in the theater. However, this is extremely
    well filmed, no surprise. Half way through the movie, I'm thinking, this
    would be great in B+W, but it has a nice 60's color feel.

    Could the movie of been done differently, to further enhance the Arbus
    legacy and promote (her) photography? Maybe, but 10 million people didn't
    show up to see it anyway, not knowing this wasn't a great photography movie,
    about wonderful creative photography. Obviously, people who make still
    pictures don't automatically swarm moving pictures about still pictures.

    This is a movie about character study. If you liked Kirk Douglas portraying
    Van Gogh, you will love this, for what it is.
  2. Some interesting information as to the economics of the show.

  3. I saw "Girl with a Pearl Earring" the other day, and was similarly surprised that they didn't
    even use good copies of the original Vermeer paintings in the movie. As to the Arbus
    Legacy, when I saw the big show at the V&A in London recently. I was disappointed to not
    be able to buy any postcard of the photos - apparently Arbus' daughter, who controls the
    estate, is incredibly strict about releasing copyright on any photos and they weren't
    allowed to use any images for the shop. I sure hope when they have my posthumous
    exhibition in the V&A my heirs allow people who pay $20 to see the exhibition to take
    home a postcard or two for the memory.

    Not sure about FUR - saw a trailer recently and was interested because of the subject, but
    not convinced it was going to be a great movie. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Would you recommend we go see it ?
  4. Yes. Because its a good movie and very well acted. And, because its about the dark side of artistic thought and passion.

    I may have to see it again for one reason- although there were no Arbus photographs in the movie, one of the still photographers listed in the ending credits was - Mary Ellen Mark. Sometimes "still photographers" help frame scenes for the movie camera, or maybe, some of Mary's pictures hung on a wall somewhere, would have to look closer.
  5. Read the book it was based on: Diane Arbus, a Biography, by Bosworth...the book is great!
  6. I could never see a movie that had Nicole Kidman playing Diane Arbus, especially after I saw her do the hack job in Cold Mountain.

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