Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress

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Total Count: 6


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Movie Info

The story of Chuck Close belongs to both the rarefied world of art and to the annals of human triumph over adversity. Originally drawn to painting as a means of dealing with a childhood learning disability, Close began his career by creating massive black-and-white portraits, astonishingly detailed and sometimes brutally realistic. Having caught the attention of critics and the public, he went on to experiment with different artistic influences -- Impressionism, computer-generated imagery, cubism, mosaic -- while staying true to certain self-imposed rules for his portraiture. In 1988, when the 48-year-old Close's spinal artery collapsed and left him paralyzed from the neck down, he feared he would never paint again. After a difficult fight to regain movement, however, Close has succeeded not only in painting again, but in continuing to grow as an artist and in receiving critical raves for his work. Director Marion Cajori's compelling documentary explores Close's inspiring life story while showcasing his vibrant and thought-provoking portraits. Featuring appearances by contemporary New York artists Leslie Close, Philip Glass, Mark Greenwold, Alex Katz, Dorothea Rockburne, and Kiki Smith.


Critic Reviews for Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (6)

  • [Director Marion] Cajori's inventive, endlessly fascinating two-hour take draws freely from those prior studies, and from footage featuring Close and his contemporaries.

    Jan 3, 2008 | Full Review…

    Ronnie Scheib

    Top Critic
  • Although the painting montages become somewhat burdensome in their repetition, and an epilogue feels academic in every sense, when Cajori finally pulls away from the finished portrait, the sense of a job done to brimming satisfaction is acutely twofold.

    Jan 2, 2008
  • The result is a portrait that should interest art-savvy viewers and neophytes alike.

    Jan 2, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Chuck Close, about the painter, photographer and printmaker by the documentary filmmaker Marion Cajori, truly excels in its depiction of the physical process of making art.

    Jan 2, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Late director Marion Cajori's documentary takes good advantage of intimate access to the iconic artist in an effort to chronicle the fascinating methodology behind his work.

    Dec 17, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Through a series of vignettes, interviews with Close's friends and family, the filmmaker reveals the soul of the portraitist.

    Dec 31, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress

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