An art movie that's a lot more too
ASI | Los Angeles | 12/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is Always Somewhere Else: The Disappearance of Bas Jan Ader is a movie about art that becomes a work of art in it's own right.
Having moved to California in the 1960s, Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader vanished in 1975 while attempting to cross the Atlantic alone.
Was the prescient conceptual artist motivated by nostalgia, suicide or some mystical search? In pondering these possibilities, Dutch filmmaker Rene Daalder also meditates on the soul of Holland, the lure of the sea and conceptual art.
A very personal film that paints an interesting portrait of a very unusual man, Here Is Always Somewhere Else is well made and at times deeply moving. The DVD makers have done a very nice job on the presentation and included some welcome supplemental material as well, making this one well worth a look for fans of art cinema and avant garde moviemaking."
Haunting documentary of a complicated artist
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 01/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bas Jan Ader is not an artist I had heard of, even though I majored in art in university. I knew his car-crucified contemporary, Chris Burden, who also appears briefly in this documentary, but I had never heard of Jan Ader himself. I am glad to know him now. He was a pioneer and a ground-breaker, and an artist of impact, although he never achieved the heights of fame.
"Here Is Always Somewhere Else" is an excellent and engaging documentary, although it is one with a purpose. This is not a clinical examination of Jan Ader, but rather a celebration and appreciation. Director Rene Daalder (Population: 1) knew Bas Jan Ader personally, and is seeking to place his friend in his proper place in art history. This adds a personal and warming touch, as every Vincent needs his Theo, and the admiration and affection comes through. Daalder wants Jan Ader to appear in the art history books and to be studied along side other visionary and pioneering artists, and "Here Is Always Somewhere Else" seems like a gift to his vanished friend.
To appreciate Bas Jan Ader's art, it is important to know something of modern art forms such as video and conceptual art, of art work that is more about emotions and exploration rather than visual splendor. Jan Ader's most famous piece, "I'm too sad to tell you", is nothing more than a black-and-white video of the artist crying. Perhaps his most sublime performance was his final work, setting sail "In Search of the Miraculous" on a 13 foot cruiser into the Atlantic Ocean, a voyage from which he would never return. All of his work was tinged with sadness, although there is also irony and slapstick comedy. He was a complicated artist, but one well worth exploring.
The DVD for "Here Is Always Somewhere Else" is also excellent. The first disk has the documentary itself, and the second disk has a complete collection of Bas Jan Ader's video art. Anyone interested in this period of art will find this an inspiration."
Intelligent and insightful
Revolver | 12/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader arrived in California in the late 1960s, created a small, potent body of lyric artworks, and then was lost at sea in 1975. He has received increasing attention in recent years, yet he remains a mystery. Here Is Always Somewhere Else: The Disappearance of Bas Jan Ader (2008), is an intelligent and insightful addition to the recent explosion of exhibitions and publications honoring the artist, and uncovering new material that helps shed light on Ader's fateful decision to sail across the Atlantic in the Ocean Wave (a twelve-and-a-half-foot sailboat).
Perfect balance between art, emotion and adventure, with a little philosophy tossed in on the side. Ranks up there with "In the Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger" and "How To Draw a Bunny." One of my favorite documentaries about art."