Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe Reviews

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Top Critic
Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Melissa Anderson
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
August 15, 2008
Crump's film is a vitally important document in this respect, bringing out Wagstaff's personality and vividly capturing the stories of the people who knew him.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
James Christopher
Times [UK]
August 15, 2008
This is a terrific documentary by James Crump about the unsung collector, Wagstaff, and his lopsided relationship with his hungry young lover, Mapplethorpe.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Sam Jordison
Film4
August 15, 2008
A well made portrait of an intriguing man, presented with a tragic but resounding weight.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
August 15, 2008
Crump's film colourfully depicts Wagstaff's complex inner mindset and rarefied eye for imagery by allowing the stunning prints to linger on the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
Richard Knight
Windy City Times
May 22, 2008
Let's hope this is the springboard for a biopic on the art world's dynamic gay duo - maybe by the time it gets made we'll even have some openly gay actors to play the parts.
Top Critic
Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
February 14, 2008
The movie makes its main point. Wagstaff was an important, complex, fascinating figure, well worth remembering.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 19, 2007
Wagstaff was a fascinating figure and deserves the detailed tribute provided here.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 19, 2007
A potent exercise in art-world mythography.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
October 19, 2007
The more famous Mapplethorpe is moved aside to give Sam Wagstaff the spotlight. But the best photography in the world steals the show.
| Original Score: 7/10
Kent Turner
Film-Forward.com
October 18, 2007
The film itself is staid in comparison to the descriptions of the '70s high life.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.75/5
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
October 18, 2007
Fine, but a little dry.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine
October 18, 2007
Draws out the unseen riches that exist within what may otherwise appear typical or commonplace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
October 16, 2007
Relatively tame retrospective about the relationship of a gay patron of the arts and his famous photographer lover best remembered for graphic, homoerotic snapshots featuring shocking sights like that of a bullwhip in a tight place.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Nathan Lee
Village Voice
October 16, 2007
A modest chronicle of an audacious life.
Top Critic
Kenneth Baker
San Francisco Chronicle
February 1, 2008
Wagstaff's character accounts for some of the frustration the film induces. Crumb's documentary style accounts for the rest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
David Noh
Film Journal International
October 22, 2007
This ham-handed interpolation of irrelevant footage is the chief demerit of his movie.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 18, 2007
Black White & Gray raises provocative questions but can't answer them, or even frame them with total clarity.
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