THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW
IL VANGELO SECONDO MATTEO
1964, Compass, 137 min, Italy, Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Working from the perspective of “an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief,” director Pier Paolo Pasolini shot this story of the life of Christ in a documentary style that lends his spare imagery a power that few Biblical spectaculars ever attain. Employing non-professional actors (Spanish economics student Enrique Irazoqui portrayed Jesus, a role for which Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were reportedly considered) and dialogue drawn directly from Matthew’s text, the film effectively allies Jesus with the meek and poor in spirit, and his rejection of materialism was a theme Pasolini often championed. In Italian with English subtitles.


1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE
1992, Paramount, 154 min, USA, Dir: Ridley Scott

Released on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World, this epic adventure stars Gérard Depardieu as the famed explorer and Sigourney Weaver as Queen Isabella. While his initial landing on San Salvador made history, Columbus’ later voyages were increasingly costly - both to him and to the native inhabitants, who were brutally subjugated by the Spanish colonizers. Unjustly neglected at the time of release, the film features a stirring score by Vangelis as well as strong supporting performances from Armand Assante, Fernando Rey and Frank Langella.


ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’
2013, Cinema Libre, 89 min, USA, Dir: Mary C. Reese, Doug Blake, Nancye Ferguson, Michael LaFetra, Stephen Nemeth

Winner of Best Documentary at the Comic Con Int'l Independent Film Festival 2013!

This new documentary profiles Robert Williams, whose rise from hot rod/underground comics illustrator to hotly collected conceptual realist offers a fascinating perspective on the contemporary art scene.

Robert Williams was an artist in search of a movement. A prolific oil painter whose painstakingly detailed work often featured naked women, death, destruction, booze and clowns, he didn’t quite fit the fine art mold. In the early 1960s he was confronted with trendy abstraction and superficial pop art. Schooled in the Hot Rod Culture of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Von Dutch, he emerged as a leader in the Underground Comic revolution along with R. Crumb, contributing regularly to Zap Comix. His antisocial paintings of an alternative reality were marginalized by the art world for decades although he became a hero of sorts for underground artists. His notoriety exploded when his painting "Appetite for Destruction" was used (and much vilified) as the cover for that 1987 Guns N’ Roses’ album.

When he started Juxtapoz Magazine in 1994, his movement found him. Legions of artists looking for a place within the contemporary art world for their cartoonish realism identified with his “LowBrow” aesthetic. At the time, Williams predicted that, “Low brow and alternative art are the crack in the dam and with this leak the art world will never be the same.”

By 2010 the art world could ignore him no longer and he was included in the prestigious Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN documents this influential artist as he rises to the top of the art world, always an outsider.

"The best movie about an artist I've ever seen!" - Ed Ruscha

"This irreverent documentary delivers insight into multiple American counter-cultures by following the great American artist and underground legend Robert Williams. From Hot Rods to Punk and Metal, from LSD to the top of the art world, the influential paintings of Robert Williams defied categorization until they became their own art movement." - Juxtapoz Magazine

Los Angeles history buffs will delight in the fact that in the film, Robert Williams tells the story behind his painting "Death on the Boards" depicting an L.A. vintage racetrack! In the 1910’s & 20s, the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. & Santa Monica Blvd (now Beverly Hills), was smack in the middle of a giant race track stadium that sat up to 70,000 spectators. It was one of only 30 tracks in the United States at the time and thrived up to the beginning of the Great Depression. On Thanksgiving Day 1920, there was a terrible accident that killed 3 drivers including Gaston Chevrolet, brother of Louis Chevrolet who co-founded Chevrolet Motor Car Company. Due to the tragic nature of the accident, green became an unlucky color in the racing world and was not used in racing for almost fifty years. This accident inspired Robert William’s painting “Death on the Boards,” because he wanted to show younger generations the world that existed right under their noses.


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