Art School Confidential ***


John Malkovich in "Art School Confidential"

Art School Confidential is the latest from director Terry Zwigoff.  It is about Art students, and their daily struggles with finding a place in the world.  Actually, that is overdoing it a bit.  It follows the events of one school in general.  The hero is Jerome (Max Minghella).  He has always wanted to be the next Picasso.  On the inside, he really just wants his work to attract a gorgeous girl that he can sleep with. 

He immediately falls for Audrey (Sophia Myles), the artists model.  She likes the drawing he does of her, and grows fond of Jerome.  He has other things on his mind, and acts like a bumbling fool most of the he is around her.  Jeromes teacher in this class is Professor Sandiford played by John Malkovich.  He is basically helpful, but mostly cares about getting his own pieces in to a gallery.   He conceals a lot of rage towards his own shortcomings as an artist.  He paints triangles.  I was one of the first he explains to Jerome. 

Other influences in Jeromes life is Sophie, another teacher played by Anjelica Huston.  She defends the world of dead white artists.  But calmly observes that they were not dead whey they did their best work.  There is also Jimmy, the drunken washout who now speaks nothing of the truth.  He had hopes once, but now wallows in cynicism and booze.  

My favorite character over all is Jeromes roommate Vince.  He is an aspiring filmmaker who is obsessed with the serial killer that is on the loose on campus, strangling his victims.  His enthusiasm for his work is hilariously over the top.  I loved it. 

That brings me to the sub-plot of the serial killer.   That was my gripe with this film.  It is totally unnecessary for a movie like this.  It ate up valuable time we could have spent with Jimmy or Vince.  The movie should have stayed without a generic plot and just taken it scene by scene.  But the movie survives and gives us a little comedic treat.  I didnt think this was up there with Zwigoffs great Ghost World, but it is along those lines.  If only there wasnt a serial killer.


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