Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Radha Mitchell, Ally Sheedy, Patricia Clarkson, Gabriel Mann, Charis Michelsen
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
No Description Available. Genre: Feature Film-Drama Rating: R Release Date: 8-FEB-2005 Media Type: DVD
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The film strives to be an art form in itself
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 06/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I guess I've been culturally deprived. I never heard of Ally Sheedy before. I understand she was once part of a brat pack and did very different roles than this, but I have no other frame of reference. Anyway, in this ambitious modern tale, she plays the part of a lesbian photographer who's into drugs. She lives with her heroin-addicted girlfriend and has prematurely given up a promising career. They hang out in their seedy apartment doing drugs with a variety of other people and that seems to be the sum total of their lives. In the apartment below lives a young professional woman, Radha Mitchell, and her boyfriend. When there is a leak from the apartment above, the young woman goes upstairs and meets the photographer and her assorted friends. She works as an assistant editor for a photography magazine and is immediately drawn into the art of the photos as well as an attraction for Ally Sheedy and drugs.One of the things I liked most about this video is what I thought of as its authenticity. There are several sex scenes that have the feel of real people in bed. If anything, they were so real that they went on a little too long but the reality of attraction, shyness, conversation, and exploration deepened the characterizations of the people involved. Perhaps this is the intention of the screenwriter, the long and lingering views of the relationship. There were also long and lingering views of drug taking and again I felt they were a little too much. The film though seemed to be trying to be an art form in itself and although the two star's performances were excellent, some of the minor characters just didn't quite seem real, such as Ally Sheedy's mother or the druggie girlfriend. The mood of the video is melancholy, the pace slow, the acting uneven. But for what it was, I enjoyed it."
Lesbo druggies exposed!
Dennis Littrell | SoCal | 07/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just kidding. Actually this is very good film whose only fault is a tendency to take itself a little too seriously at times.Ally Sheedy plays Lucy, a lesbian photographer with a serious drug problem, but an even more serious inability to cope with the rapacious New York City commercial art scene. Lucy struts and poses her cocaine-trim limbs while her mind stoops to degeneracy. She is controlled by the deep-throated German has-been actress, Greta (Patricia Clarkson) her long-time lover, and by her own falling-down habits. The mercantile world is too much for her pure artist's nature, and so she forsakes it for the haze...Radha Mitchell plays Syd, an assistant editor at Frame, a glitzy photo art mag, who is seduced by Lucy and by her own need to succeed. Gabriel Mann plays James, her boyfriend, who can see the handwriting on the wall, and splits.Sheedy is outstanding and Mitchell is very good, but what makes this an intriguing and worth-while film is the uncompromising eye of Director Lisa Cholodenko, who depicts the sad, dreary NYC "high art" drug scene without a trace of sentimentality or any hidden sexist agenda. True, the women in the film are vastly more interesting than the men, who are merely passive appendages, of little notice. But that is because those in focus-Lucy, Syd and Greta-are strong people who shape their own lives, for better or for worse. Notice that the hangers-on, on the couch, male or female, are shallow and empty regardless of sex.The lesbian sexuality displayed seemed authentic but somehow limited-although, how would I know? Maybe it's the code. The dependency passing for love between Lucy and Greta also struck me as real. Syd's loss of innocence was the main point, however, and it was not her sexual seduction that did it, but her discovery of her own very complex nature. The look on the face of the receptionist reading Dostoyevski after Syd appeared on the cover of the magazine, her hungry interest and then Syd's realization of being looked at in a different way, was just a marvelous piece of cinema incisively rendered."
R. P. Tristram Coffin, IV | the River City | 05/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So many good reviews, so little left to say...High Art is really a character piece. The plot is rather simple and a titch predictable, but the interaction between the characters is the cause of interest anyway.Radha Mitchell plays a hip but naive photography magazine editor (Syd) who is lucky enough to live below the J.D. Salenger of photography (Lucy Berlinner, played by Ally Sheedy). When a water leak in Syd's ceiling sends her upstairs, she is met by the enigmatic recluse. Syd is fluent with the subject matter of photography, but charmingly timid about the world that surrounds it. Before long, she finds her newly discovered underworld more interesting than her pushover boyfriend. As we see through Syd's eyes, the movie mostly centers on her exploration and self-discovery within that world. As she ambitiously follows her big break, she realizes there is much more, emotionally, at stake. You will be hard pressed to find a mediocre performance of any of the characters here, including the minor ones. Major priority is given to the casting, as every performance is honest, human, gritty and incredibly relatable, especially considering they all live in a world few of us see. Indeed, one of the many charms is the window provided for us to see it. Sheedy has, apparently, appeared in other indie films since her high-flying days as an 80's angst-ridden teenager, however, this has become her most visible role in years and Mitchell is a presence that can only remain underground for so long. Seeing the budding Mitchell is, alone, worth the purchase. One highlight is, appropriately, the camera work. There is an obvious insiders appreciation for photography from behind the scenes. One can literally pause the film at any point and get a still as captivating as those Lucy Berlinner's book. This film, somehow, succeeds at being humble and ambitious at the same time, simplistic but profound and the contrast and reliability contained in Syd's struggle make High Art essential viewing."
In my top five films of all time for years!
Tim Streeter | The Great Northwest | 05/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I do not usually write reviews for titles I purchase from Amazon but, for this film I will make an exception. This did for Ally Sheedy what Pulp Fiction did for Travolta. More than that, it restored my faith in American Cinema. The three lead performances are simply sublime. The supporting acting and the direction combine to create a fascinating intimacy and wrenching emotional journey that I haven't experienced since "Sundays and Cybele". I could try to express why I think Ms. Sheedy's work is so remarkable but, the performance speaks for itself and is of a whole cloth. As Lucy tells Syd in the film, with a wry smile ..."I haven't been deconstructed in a long time" and I will do her the courtesy of refraining here - I only pray that there are other vehicles in Sheedy's future that allow her the same level of transformational self-expression that I felt this afforded her. If you haven't seen this yet DO IT NOW! Then insist everyone you ever met see it too! Lucy, Syd and Greta are characters that will stay with you in the best possible way, for a long time to come."