Complete A-Z list



Stars: Appearing are: David Hockney, Arthur Lambert, Colin Self, Don Bachardy, Celia Birtwell, Betty Freeman, George Lawson, Wayne Sleep, John Kasmin

Director: Randall Wright

Not so much a straightforward documentary about the renowned Bradford-born artist (still spry in his 70s and talking interestingly about himself and his work) as a fact-filled hagiography featuring everything you ever might have wanted to know but were afraid to ask, and everything he wanted to say or have said about himself, decorated with stunningly photographed shots of his work which help make the movie as much as does its subject.

We follow Hockney’s life and his works from his days as an art student in 1960s London and from there to New York and Los Angeles, his long time affair with Peter Schlesinger and, vividly, the effects of the onset of the plague of AIDS in the 1980s. On camera interviews with Hockney and, valuably, a fascinating collection of friends and acquaintances speaking to camera, along with well-chosen archive footage add interest.

The film serves as an excellent primer to the man and his work with friendly evidence giving useful depth if nothing groundbreaking.

As you have already paid twice (via the Lottery courtesy of the British Film Institute and through your television licence for the production (it’s patently a television project and reportedly scheduled for telecast in 2015 while its small screen origin is further underlined by production participation by America’s Smithsonian Channel) for the film, I’d advise waiting for the BBC to screen it.

Alan Frank

UK 2014. UK Distributor: Picturehouse. Colour.
112 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 07 Dec 2014