May 19, 2006

Art School Confidential

The first tiime I read the four-page comic, Art School Confidential, it was reprinted in a catalog from House Industries (House is a very cool font design company). My art director at the time wanted me to check out some of the fonts, but I was more interested Dan Clowes's comic strip instead. I had just seen Ghost World (written by Clowes and directed by Terry Zwigoff --Bad Santa, but I've never seen that) and was reading any Clowes books I could find. Anyway, those four pages of Art School Confidential hilariously catalogued art school stereotypes.

So I was stoked when I heard Clowes and Zwigoff were teaming up again to make Art School Confidential into a movie. I saw it last week and didn't really work for me. It wasn't as biting as it's source material and it wasn't as fun as Ghost World. The first half of the movie had some good and funny moments, but the story all of a sudden takes a dark turn when a murder-mystery subplot rises up and takes over the entire second half of the movie. There's a message about notoriety equaling success--but who cares? We already knew that.

What's good? John Malkovich as the professor who's more concerned about getting his own artwork exposed, and Steve Buscemi as the big-egoed owner of the local hip coffee-shop/art gallery. Also good? The original comic strip. Find it. Read it. Save $10.

--Freefall Jones

life, work, art battle, storytime.

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