Hockney is the best kind of documentary, one which in inspired in form and aesthetic by its subject.
While there is nothing in particular which is experimental of iconoclastic about this biopic, it is intensely visual and it does not use a traditional thematic or chronological structure to give an overview of the work of this intriguing artist. Rather, the film creates an impression, almost like looking at a work of visual art like a painting or drawing. Images are lingered upon and returned to. There are lots of interviews from different periods of Hockney's life, both with him and with friends and colleagues. We learn a lot about is intimate circle and those who influenced him the work and the inspiration he took from many locations including London, New York and L.A. And there is a great deal of film footage shot by or for Hockney and many photographs as well. It is a real peek behind the curtain.
Hockney (now 78) was successful from a very early age - his work has always seemed to resonate widely with audiences. With his distinctive look and style he also made for good copy and has also been a media darling. This never seems to have made him complacent though; neither did it make him a follower of fashion. He seems eternally delighted by the act of looking, and motivated by the never-ending possibilities of looking at things and the world in a new way. This joy is evident in many of the projects discussed. I was lucky enough to see a show of Hockney's iPad art in Los Angeles last year and can report that these works are so much more than a good story about an septuagenarian artist embracing a new medium.
Thoroughly entertaining, whether you know Hockney well or not at all.
Showing October 6th 10:00 am at Vancity Theatre and October 8th 8:45 pm at SFU Woodwards.