Combustible Celluloid
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With: Adam Goldberg, Marley Shelton, Eion Bailey, Lucy Punch, Vinnie Jones, Zak Orth, Ptolemy Slocum, Michael Panes, Svetlana Efremova, Marceline Hugot, Janet Carroll, Ben Hammer
Written by: Jonathan Parker, Catherine DiNapoli
Directed by: Jonathan Parker
MPAA Rating: R for language and nude images
Running Time: 96
Date: 03/19/2013

[Untitled] (2009)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Art for Smart's Sake

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Bay Area filmmaker Jonathan Parker made the very odd, hilarious Bartleby back in 2002; I loved it and declared it a future cult classic, although I'm not sure it counts if only a few dozen other people feel the same as me.

Regardless, Parker is back for another try with [Untitled], which is like Art School Confidential without the murders. The new film has that same ultra-black comedy vibe, which means good news for us few fans and bad news for everyone else.

Adam Goldberg stars as Adrian, an angry, depressed, genius composer whose cacophonous creations include banging on a piano and kicking a bucket. His brother is a successful painter whose bland works adorn the walls of hotels and hospitals. His dealer, Madeleine (Marley Shelton), takes a liking to Adrian's work, seduces him and lands a commission for him to perform at her gallery.

Meanwhile, several other bizarre artists-of-the-moment and collectors drift in and out, and the characters argue intelligently and wittily about what art is, and whether it will endure. I don't know the answer to that, but the laughs in [Untitled] made me feel good all day.

Reviewed at the San Francisco International Film Festival, April 24, 2009.

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