The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
"In its subject's desire for attention and validation, the film gets at the pitiful need and loneliness that drives fame whores. Nevertheless, it remains most compelling when bursting Kostabi's self-important bubble" -Village Voice
"An entertaining boom-era fable" -New York Magazine
"[Director Michael] Sládek has crafted an entertaining reverie on the concept and addictive nature of celebrity" -Variety
"Riveting... What the film really shows, effortlessly, is what one does in the face of human loss" -Slant Magazine
"Compelling" -TimeOut NY
"A lively portrait of the enfant terrible... [Sládek] captures the compelling oddness of his subject" -Los Angeles Times
"An enlightening look at the go-go art boom of the '80s" -Chicago Reader
Recommended! "Sládek's cruel documentary may be the creepiest artist portrait in memory, a well-etched portrait of a desperate arriviste hysteric" -NewCity Chicago
A highly energetic dark comedy that focuses on once-infamous "business artist" Mark Kostabi, whose obsession with regaining his lost stature manifests itself in bizarre attempts to find happiness through fame, which he openly equates with love. As a young artist in the 1980s New York scene, Kostabi gained international fame and fortune via a Warhol-inspired gimmick: to mass-produce and sell thousands of paintings per year, conceived of and executed not by himself, but by a revolving stable of hired hands. He then signed and sold these paintings, proclaiming that "modern art is a con and I am the world's greatest con artist." But Kostabi's cynical success and overt antagonism eventually caused his closest allies to turn on him, resulting in a remarkable fall from grace.
Now approaching fifty, Kostabi masks a bruised ego as he tries to entice women, hocks paintings on Italian TV, speaks at a Yale University Master's Tea, stars in a self-financed TV game show, and hitches his dreams of stardom to a high profile commission from the Vatican. As he tries to gain control of the film itself, Kostabi's narcissism illuminates insights into his own ego while reflecting America's rampant obsession with celebrity and money.
Directed by: Michael Sládek, U.S.A., 2010, 84 mins. In English and Italian with English subtitles.