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James Castle: Portrait of an Artist
James Castle Portrait of an Artist
Actors: James Castle, John Yau, Robert Storr, Terry Winters, John Ollman
Director: Jeffrey Wolf
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
NR     2009     0hr 53min

Born deaf in 1899 in rural Idaho-- only nine years after that frontier territory was admitted to the Union-- James Castle mined the local landscape of his family's homesteads and his own deeply private world to produce an ...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: James Castle, John Yau, Robert Storr, Terry Winters, John Ollman
Director: Jeffrey Wolf
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Art & Artists, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Biography
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 06/23/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 0hr 53min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An American Legend
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 05/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""James Castle: Portrait of an Artist"

An American Legend

Amos Lassen


James Castle was an amazing American artist. He was born deaf in 1899 in rural Idaho and went on to be a major force in the world of American art. Jeffrey Wolf gives us a film about Castle's life and his creative process and this is an emotional look at the man who was known as the outlaw artist, His life shows how the spirit can triumph and his life is an inspiration. First Run Features brings us a documentary about Castle and we learn of his life by family members, curators, artists, collectors and other members of the deaf community. Castle was a self-taught and prolific artist who remains an enigma in the art world. Born deaf, he did not learn sign, read or write in the usual manner. Instead he communicated through his art. He died in 1977 and left behind a huge body of work which chronicles his growing up on the American frontier.
The film shows us that arose this artist in the middle of nowhere and he, even though handicapped, was able to become a part of the influences of that frontier. His work fits in with the work of Jasper Johns, Anselm Kieffer and Andy Warhol. Director Jeffrey Wolf explores Castle's work and looks at how it has grown in the world and he does so by using the voices of surviving family members, art critics both from Idaho and the rest of the world and others who have been inspired by Castle. It is easy to feel the love that Wolf poured into this film,
Castle was an untrained artist and therefore is referred to an "outsider because he was not within the artistic mainstream. Because of this Castle was discovered after he died and now it is time to put him into the mainstream world of art where he belongs. His life is interesting and there are many people who remember him and are willing to talk about him. We see that in the film. The film is a wonderful tribute to a man who did not live the way most do yet managed to make a valuable and positive contribution to the world.
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