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

Reviews Counted: 26

62%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 515

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

62%
Average Rating: 3.6/5

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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)

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…
Time Out
Top Critic

Veteran documentarist Morgan Neville's illustrated history of the painters and sculptors associated with Venice's Ferus Gallery (1957-1967) is at once lively and analytical.

May 22, 2008 | Full Review…

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
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…

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