August 29, 2019 - 6:00 pm
Made in 1974 but unreleased until a decade later, “A Bigger Splash” paints a vivid picture of the “Swinging London” art and gay scenes of the early 1970s.
This audacious cinematic experiment, a fictional film in which all the actors play themselves, stemmed from director Jack Hazan and writer David Mingay’s friendship with renowned artist David Hockney and his circle from 1971 to 1973, a critical period following the break-up of Hockney’s relationship with Peter Schlesinger. In the film, Hockney plays a heartbroken painter unable to work, leading his friends and his art dealer to worry about him. Eventually, Hockney begins a new painting, using a swimming pool as a canvas and featuring a man floating in the pool while his lover stands outside and stares.
As critic Glenn Kenny says, “This unusual and sometimes unsettling film is a kind of staged documentary that could not have been made without the cooperation of people who were going though genuine challenges in their life at the time.” It’s a unique artistic artifact and a must-see for fans of modern art.