Essential Intrigue
2016 (108mins)
Dir: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures

This dazzling documentary looks at the life, times and influence of one of the great renaissance men and one of the great artist/photographers of the 20th century - Robert Mapplethorpe.

Controversial to the core Mapplethorpe was obsessed with magic and in particular, with what he saw as the magic of photography and the magic of sex. He pursued both with insatiable dedication. With similar passion and dedication and with unprecedented unlimited access to his archives and work filmmakers Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey go well under the skin to construct a beautiful and sophisticated portrait of the man and artist.

Newly discovered voice recordings from Mapplethorpe himself underpin the documentary. In his own words and in candid and shocking honesty he speaks about his life, loves and work. Seen through his eyes they were seamless whole, a complete work of art. His “confessional” is supported by previously unseen, rare archival footage and images, which give a brand new insight into a man, who lived the same way he took his pictures – black and white.

The controversial artist may have worked in black and white, but his life is anything but in this terrific portrait - VARIETY