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directed by Laurie Simmons
USA 2016


Having turned sixty-five, art teacher Ellie (artist and writer/director Laurie Simmons) is starting to bristle at the "humble bragging" of her more successful colleagues whose lack of free time between exhibition seasons she can only envy. At the end of this semester, howver, Ellie has decided to housesit for an artist working abroad who is allowing her the use of her country home and barn studio space for Ellie to find her artistic voice again and hopefully attain some recognition as an artist rather than just a teacher who has produced some successful students. With just the company of her dog who suffers from degenerative myelopathy - her singer friend Veronika (Barbara Sukowa, LOLA) having cancelled her visit for an engagement - Ellie is slow to start with the temptations of old movies, cannibis-laced health foods and cigarettes, and the only other human company coming from Frank (BLUE BLOODS' Robert Clohessy) and Tom (Josh Safdie), actors who also work as landscapers. Ellie's artistic frustration is mirrored in Frank's extended sabbatical from acting since the death of his wife and Tom's trepidation about the direction he wants to take his profession, a stasis enabled by the material comforts afforded by his older wife Angie (THE HOUSE OF YES' Parker Posey). The escapism provided by the movies, however, also provides inspiration for Ellie's art as a series of video diaries in which she recreates iconic movie scenes - A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE, JULES ET JIM, and MR. PEABODY AND THE MERMAID among others - that embody the impossiblity of being those stars and characters who so stimulate the imagination. Frank and Tom find their creative batteries recharged by the "work" along with John (John Rothman, ZELIG), the stepfather of one of Ellie's students who never before had the courage to explore his creative side and became a lawyer instead. A couple of reality checks, both abrupt and tragic, however, shake Ellie's confidence in the direction of her work when the option to exhibit it is taken out of her hands by well-meaning but pushy colleagues. The feature debut of artist Laurie Simmons, MY ART is deliberately episodic but some low-key performances wring depth out of underwritten characters with Rothman a particular standout as the at-first boorish lawyer - and foolish from Ellie's fantasy-tinged point-of-view - who reveals hidden depths, as well as Clohessy as the unlikely love interest. While Ellie's art itself might seem pretentious from the outside, the film itself is interesting as a work about art and artists - well-mined in cinema but often superficially and for purposes other than exploring the artistic process - by an actual artist who talks about things like her "process" and the frustrations and dead ends that come with it in a believable manner. Lena Dunham (GIRLS) - Simmons' daughter with artist Carroll Dunham - has a brief appearance early in the film.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 22 April 2017 (USA)

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DVD Review: Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:24

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Film Movement

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Audio Commentary by director Laurie Simmons
� Trailer (16:9; 1:54)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: January 30th, 2018

Chapters 12



Digitally photographed with some sequences making use of the Digital Bolex seen in the film, MY ART is given a typically serviceable progressive, anamorphic encode that accomodates both the naturalistic and more stylized looks of the film proper and the films-within-a-film. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is restrained coming to life mainly in terms of music during the fantasy and film-within-a-film scenes (closed captions are available). Actress/director Simmons provies an audio commentary that has a lot of play-by-play of the onscreen action (although her closeness to the script has her sometimes conveying character information not always immediately evident in the finished cut) but she points out the appearances of fellow artists, actors (including daughter Dunham), and locations, as well as the autobiographical aspects of the script and her own art career (the museum seen in the opening sequence features some of her own work as well as that of her husband). A trailer for the film and trailers for other Film Movement titles are also included.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC




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