My Film of the Year (2013); “Joel-Peter Witkin – An Objective Eye”
“Joel-Peter Witkin; An Objective Eye” (2013, Thomas Marino), review by Phil Barrington
[My review first featured on the official film website here.]
Are there questions left unanswered in this film? At 2 hours in length there aren’t many. I’d have personally liked Witkin to clear up the Vietnam War Photographer myth/confusion once and for all on film (though this has now been explored with a lengthy out-take from the film, reflecting his army years on the film’s Youtube Channel), he seems to contradict his loss-of-virginity tales from the past with a more hetero-based scenario and, related to that, he doesn’t really explore his formative carnival experiences. I’d have also liked to see his on-screen response to certain unsolicited rip-offs of his imagery such as the infamous Closer video by NiN. And is that actually his assistant Kris starring in his boldest and grimmest work of the 2000s, ‘Ars Moriendi‘?
Trailer for the Film here (Youtube)
It is also, for me, easily the best film of 2013.
Artist, Observer & Note-taker
December 1st 2013.
Buy the film online here; www.witkinmovie.com