The Cool School

Critics Consensus

A breezy and lively modern art documentary, revealing that LA is not a cultural wasteland when it comes to fine art.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

63%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 514
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Movie Info

The Cool School is an object lesson in how to build an art scene from scratch and what to avoid in the process. The film focuses on the seminal Ferus Gallery, which groomed the LA art scene from a loose band of idealistic beatniks into a coterie of competitive, often brilliant artists, including Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses and Robert Irwin. The Ferus also served as launching point for New York imports, Andy Warhol (hosting his first Soup Can show), Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein as well as leading to the first Pop Art show and Marcel Duchamp's first retrospective. What was lost and gained is tied up in a complex web of egos, passions, money, and art. This is how L.A. came of age.

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Critic Reviews for The Cool School

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (2)

  • The Cool School is a history of the LA art scene which will be most interesting for those who are involved in it.

    Aug 15, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Morgan Neville's 'The Cool School' is a slickly packaged document of the burgeoning modern art scene in LA during the late '50s and early '60s which sadly submerges its fascinating subject matter in technical clutter and contrived set-ups.

    Aug 15, 2008 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Diverting.

    Mar 28, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The Cool School, a breezy, lively documentary about a thin slice of the Los Angeles fine art scene in the 1950s, is easy on the eyes, and the ears too.

    Mar 28, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Cool School is a must for anyone interested in 20th century American art.

    Mar 28, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

    John Anderson

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • Documentarian Morgan Neville takes an appropriately lively, left-field approach to The Cool School's eye-opening history of the Beat-era Left Coast art scene -- a lesser-known chapter in the story of American modern art.

    Mar 26, 2008 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Cool School

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