Paul Cadmus: Enfant Terrible at 80

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Following the adage that most extemporaneous speeches are better when prepared in advance, this documentary look at the American artist Paul Cadmus is filled with information and pithy comments by the artist on his work, philosophy, and life -- all seemingly natural and spontaneous but actually rehearsed thoroughly in advance. The technique paid off, because the impressive and articulate artist comes across with more impact than otherwise, and the overview of his oeuvre is all the more complete. Cadmus favored the male nude above other subjects, and in this brief run-through of his work, his adaptations of Breughel and Bosch-style figures in modern settings like parks or locker rooms are especially featured. Given that Cadmus saw these figures as representing rather dour, lower-class workers ineffectually looking for either respite or pleasure in these surroundings, one could rightfully question his view of the non-rich, and also his single-gender vision.

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