The ongoing trouble with docs about artists is that too few are very artfully made themselves, or else they flat out fail to demonstrate any insight into their subjects' impulses, goals, or creative processes. Displaying artwork on-screen and interpreting it via talking-head sound bites has become the new dancing-about-architecture. Beautiful Losers, gallery curator turned filmmaker Aaron Rose's celebratory portrait of the early-'90s fringe artists who took part in his traveling exhibition of the same name success stories like propaganda parodist Shepard Fairey, Thumbsucker director and visual artist Mike Mills, and Mission School notables Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen makes all the aforementioned missteps. And yet, regardless of Rose's intentions, his underachieving airiness is both entertaining and perfectly fitting for the slacker ennui of his clique's rising years when comic books were for nerds, skateboarding and graffiti for rebels, and none of these cats could've predicted the Pepsi and Marc Jacobs campaigns coming their way.
Sept. 5-11, 2008