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.
"Andrew Neel's fascinating but troubling documentary about his famous grandmother is more than a mere biography of an important 20th-century artist: It's also an intimate portrait of a family member that questions whether or not "great artist" and "good parent" can ever be combined in the same person." -TV Guide
"Fascinating...It achieves the documentary format's basic goal of illuminating history while also demonstrating, through filmmaking choices, how an artist's style reveals his or her personality." -New York Times
"Fascinating viewing" -TimeOut NY
"A rich portrait...heartfelt" -NewCity Chicago
Portrait painter Alice Neel (1900-1984) has been acclaimed as one of the most profound artists of the modern era, who recorded her sitters on canvas through six decades of the 20th century, among them Andy Warhol, Bella Abzug, Allen Ginsberg and Annie Sprinkle. Neel always sought the "authentic," moving from Greenwich Village to Spanish Harlem just as the Village was gaining reputation in the art scene. She sacrificed almost everything for her art, almost all the comforts of a "normal" life, by delving so far into the psyches of her sitters that she would almost lose herself. Yet Neel was also a dedicated mother, raising two sons in the bohemian world she inhabited. Filmmaker Andrew Neel, Alice Neel's grandson, puts together the pieces of the painter's life using intimate one-on-one interviews with Neel's surviving family members, still photographs, interviews with noted art historians and Alice Neel's own words. The documentary explores the artist's tumultuous biography and the legacy of Alice Neel's determination to paint her era, one soul at a time. Also featuring: Chuck Close, Michel Auder, Richard Neel, and Phillip Bonosky.
Directed by Andrew Neel, 2007, U.S.A., 35mm, 81 mins.