In this intelligent and brooding satire on the state of contemporary art, close in style and cutting humor to Woody Allen films, Madeleine the owner of a Chelsea gallery gets involved with two brothers, painter Josh and musician Adrian. Madeleine is gorgeous, talented, and calculating: she knows a leading gallery cannot soil its walls with commercial work hung in hotel lobbies. Josh paints precisely such hack; his pastel abstractions sell, guaranteeing a great bottom line, but cannot hang in Madeleine’s gallery, which prides itself on cutting-edge art like the stuffed animals of Ray Barko (riff on Damien Hirst) or the conceptualist Monroe (parody of Martin Creed).
(Untitled) is one of the most overused titles in contemporary art. Jonathan Parker’s film is a close-up on the hermetic art world with its celebrities, bitter artists, collectors and galleries, and dialogues that are both humorous and apposite observations. Importantly, (Untitled) does not overdo it on the parody – it is scathing but not aggressive. The plot is light and story balanced – Parker denudes the art world’s lunacy and his own authentic fascination with that world.
Mannheim-Heidelberg IFF 2009 – special jury prize
Jonathan Parker has been working with Catherine DiNapoli for nine years in a proficient screenwriter-director duo. Their first project was Bartleby (2001), a dark surreal comedy being a loose contemporary adaptation of Herman Melville’s 1853 novella. After the success of Bartleby, their next project was The Californians (2005), a cinematic paraphrase of Henry James’s 1886 classic American novel, The Bostonians, a tale of family and political conflict, coterie, and fanatical extremes. Parker’s adaptation takes place in modern California on the battle lines between hippie greens and greedy business. (Untitled) is the duo’s third collaboration in portraying a closed community.
1991 Mashie Niblick
1994 Hugo and Hilda Get Engaded (kr. m. / short)
2005 The Californians
2009 (Bez tytułu) / (Untitled)