Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers

"Um I'd like one ticket for, Beautiful Losers." I went warily to this documentary last night, thinking it was going to be another rags-to-riches story of a hip art clique, complete with footage of the cool parties you could never get into. But okay, I'll go see it...heck Shepard Fairey is in it.

I've seen films on the cultural significance of graffiti and the skate culture, those of disenchanted youth angry at the world, this one is more about the behind the scenes creative process and collective energy of a group of witty DIY artstars. Shot in NYC, LA and SF in the mid '90s, it covers their rise from a tiny gallery to international corporate campaigns, then ends on a surprisingly touching moment. The film slowly shows that they aren't just well-funded hacks lazing around the Lower East Side, but reveals how their unity propels them and how each is simply, driven. (a plump Harmony Korine says in the end, its almost a "duty".)

I found the hand painted signage lovely, the textures of film well-edited...and it's mixed to a thoughtful soundtrack by Money Mark.There are lots of good one-liners throughout, but a favorite of mine was S.F. based artist Chris Johanson admitting "we all have scars, but its better to have and explore them than live a bland life."

Beautiful Losers is in NYC until the end of the week then heads out west to L.A.'s NuArt, then up to the S.F. Lumiere, try to catch it. I missed some of the Nike sponsored workshops in conjunction with the screenings but they look fun too. /// HJ
  • Mike Ley

    I caught a screening of the doc earlier this year and left with mixed feelings. Although an amazing documentary and look at some of the more popular artists from this "club," it left out so many of the just-as-influentials that traveled with the show that kicked off in 2004. If no one else, at least bring in Michael Leon, Mark Gonzales, Rostarr and a few other east coasters. That aside, my personal favorites were in line: Steve Powers, always in character, and Twist/Matokie (RIP) scrawling the trains.

  • G.Glas

    "André the Giant Has a Posse"... Fairey is brilliant

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