Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine (2008)

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Born in 1911, sculptor Louise Bourgeois has been a major figure in contemporary American art since the early '60s, having earned an international reputation for her abstract pieces that embrace the appetites of human sexuality and the emotional dynamics of youth in a rich variety of ways. Filmmakers Marion Cajori and Amei Wallach offer an intriguing look at Bourgeois, her art, and her working methods in the documentary Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine. Active and alert in her mid-nineties, Bourgeois discusses how her life history impacts her work, her relationship with her family, the techniques she uses to create her sculptures, and how the emotional outlet of her art has helped her survive. The New York premiere of Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine was scheduled to coincide with the opening of a major retrospective of Bourgeois' work at the city's Guggenheim Museum; it was the last film from co-director Marion Cajori, who died in the summer of 2006 before it was completed.

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Critic Reviews for Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (10)

An investment that has paid off by producing an unexpectedly lyrical and poetic portrait.

May 22, 2009 | Rating: 5/6 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The film stands alone as a remarkable achievement, as intimate a portrayal of a living artist as one could ask for. And a likeable one at that.

Feb 6, 2009 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Remembrances by aides and relatives plus antique photos and close-ups of her work -- including her iconic giant spiders -- round out the loving film.

Jun 27, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Louise Bourgeois is absorbing, largely because of Bourgeois' striking art, prickly personality, and assured intensity.

Jun 26, 2008 | Rating: B
AV Club
Top Critic

This uncommonly elegant and evocative portrait of Louise Bourgeois reveals much about the haunting and haunted master while leaving intact the thing you cannot explain.

Jun 25, 2008 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

The artist's festering recollections of her girlhood mesh with guided first-person tours of her sculptures, creating a privileged look into a psyche rendered solid.

Jun 25, 2008

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