Mapplethorpe: Look at the....

  |  Book Tickets: 31/05/2016
  |  108 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato. Featuring: Robert Mapplethorpe, Deborah Harry, Bob Colacello. Patti Smith. USA 2016. 108 mins. “Look at the pictures!” thundered right-wing US Senator Jesse Helms in 1989, during his infamous drive to prevent Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs from being exhibited in a public art gallery. The pictures in question were some of Mapplethorpe’s most explicit and controversial portrayals of BDSM sexuality. As this unapologetic and beautifully poised documentary emphasises, however, those celebrated images represented only one facet of his art. A photographer who helped define sexually liberated Manhattan until his untimely death in 1989, Mapplethorpe produced a rich, diverse body of work ranging from classical nudes to delicate still lifes and portrait photography. Directors Bailey and Barbato (Inside Deep Throat) draw on interviews and Mapplethorpe’s own audio recordings to trace his life story, but their most important message about this important artist is, precisely, that we should look at the pictures.