25 November 2012 | cellmaker
We'll assume these people are actually interesting
This is an odd quasi-documentary ostensibly about Hockney's breakup with his protégé and lover (Peter Schlesinger) and, to some extent, its effect on his painting and on his relationships with his friends and colleagues.
Very unfortunately the result is a mish-mash: some glimpses into what passes for access into the worlds of art and fashion (one particularly long fashion show scene is almost painful to watch); musings on the relative merits of London, France, Italy, New York and California (early-70s New York comes off as truly wretched); contextless vignettes of Hockney's friends and colleagues, who could not possibly be as dull as they are presented here; some actually interesting looks at Hockney's techniques, including "joiner" collages he used to construct elements of his paintings; and all this punctuated with what is supposed to be an examination of the breakup between Hockney and his younger boyfriend. A good bit of gay sex and nudity are thrown in to spice things, and while it was assuredly arresting in 1973, very little of it feels very sensual, and certainly not erotic. Their relationship is left entirely unexamined, so at best one might conclude that Peter is more self-absorbed even than Hockney or that he simply prefers the company of men more his age. Ho-hum.
This might have been a lot more interesting at 45 minutes: you might not notice how inconsequential it all seems.