CATEGORIES Documentary, Independent, Celebrities and Controversy, Trailer Trash, Distribution, Cinematical Indie, Trailers and Clips, Movie News, CinematicalThere's no better way to stir up controversy about modern art then to have an up-and-coming artist, one who sells her work for thousands, be under the young age of 5. It brings a whole new meaning to the common modern art gripe: "a kid could paint that," which is why the new documentary about Marla Olmstead is called: My Kid Could Paint That. Amir Bar-Lev's doc follows the quick rise of the young artist, and the discussion she's brewing both in and out of the art world -- questioning the validity of much modern art, as well as just how responsible the child is for her own paintings.
Earlier this year, Scott Weinberg reviewed the film at Sundance and said that it did "a rock-solid and entirely admirable job of dancing on both sides of the fence." With the October 5 limited release date quickly approaching, a trailer has gone up online, and it's pretty solid.* (Erik briefly mentioned it for Trailer Park here.) Some money and time was obviously put into it, resulting in a slick and thought-provoking blip, perfect to stir up interest and discussion about the film. It shows Marla, her parents and a sea of supporters and naysayers as she rises from kid with a paintbrush to artist sensation. What really strikes me is how easily "genius" is thrown around. It makes me wonder more about what will happen to this kid later, rather than whether she's the lone artistic mind behind her paintings. The life of an artist is tough. Can she continue to produce art that art collectors are itching for? Laying it on a girl under five almost surely sets up harsh criticism and disappointment, probably before she even gets to hit her teens.
Bar-Lev's documentary is looking like the perfect doc to see with friends and then have rabid discussions with afterwards: Did she make the art all on her own? If yes, does that mean modern art is a farce, or that she's utterly brilliant and comparable to adult greats? Can she continue to wow people? Is this all just a big scam?
*It's a great trailer, and not just because our Scott Weinberg got quoted in it! Woot!