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Alice Neel

by Andrew Nell
Stati Uniti 2007, 82′
Presented at Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival 2009
SUBJECT Andrew Neel
PHOTOGRAPHY: Andrew Neel, Ethan Palmer, Hillary Spera
EDITING: Luke Meyer
SOUND: Raphael Lasky
MUSIC: Jonah Rapino
PRODUCER: Ethan Palmer
“Painting was more than a profession. It was also an obsession. I had to paint.” American artist Alice Neel (Merion Square, Pennsylvania, 1900 – New York, 1984) is considered one of the most original and anti-conformist painters of the XXth century. During the course of her long and difficult career, she completely reinvented the genre of the portrait, painting both common and famous people, among whom are Robert Smithson, Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg and Meyer Shapiro. In the 1970s, she became very popular thanks to her appearances on the Johnny Carson “The Tonight Show”. She also gained important accolades and had her first retrospective at New York’s Whitney Museum in 1974. The film is directed by her grandson Andrew Neel and it won the Newport Beach Film Festival Audience Award. By weaving together memories and artworks, the director has produced an intimate and touching portrait of a woman and an artist who always moved against the trend.
Andrew Neel was born in Vermont. He graduated from Columbia University in 2001 and founded SeeThink Productions in 2002. He won Best Experimental Drama at the New York Film and Video Festival in 2002 with his first 35mm short film, billy 528. His first feature film, Darkon, has won the Audience Award at the 2006 SXSW Film Festival and has been bought by IFCtv. His third feature-length film, The Feature, was premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.
Selected Filmography
2001 billy 528; 2006 Darkon; Initiation; 2007 Alice Neel; 2008 The Feature; 2009 New World Order.