A biopic is in the works of Robert Mapplethorpe, with Matt Smith currently set to play the provocative photographer. However, before then the documentary Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures will take us into the world of a man who caused a culture wars furore and in the process brought in-your-face queer art into the public consciousness like never before.
Here’s the synopsis: ‘Following the hugely successful World premiere at Sundance Film Festival, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures by Emmy Award winning directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbarto (Inside Deep Throat, Party Monster, The Eyes of Tammy Faye) about the life, work and legacy of controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe will open in UK cinemas 22nd April 2016.
‘Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures is the first definitive feature-length portrait of artist Robert Mapplethorpe since his death from AIDS 1989. With two museums currently preparing joint retrospectives of Mapplethorpe’s work, theJ. Paul Getty Museum and The Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), the directors took the opportunity to access rare and never before seen materials from his earliest forays into art and photography, to his work depicting the BDSM culture, to his delicate flower still lifes, to his portraiture – every aspect of his work is covered in this film
‘In addition to this wealth of material, Barbarto and Bailey use never before heard audio recordings of Mapplethorpe with interviews with his family, friends, lovers, and collaborators including: Edward Mapplethorpe, Fran Lebowitz, Brice Marden, Debbie Harry, Carolina Herrera, Bob Colacello, Brooke Shields, Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, Ken Moody, and Richard Sherman. Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures is a document of an ambitious and daring artist who challenged social norms and pushed boundaries with his confrontational images and created a rich market for photography.’
The film will be in UK cinemas on April 22nd, with the film due to air on HBO in the US around the same time. Take a look at the trailer below. It will also screen at the BFI Flare LGBT Film Festival on March 19th and 21st.