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David Hockney Paints His Male Muse in Landmark Queer Nonfiction Movie


The restored 1974 narrative non-fiction movie A Bigger Splash that follows Hockney, his art, and friend circle over the course of three years is being rereleased. 

Originally released in 1974, Jack Hazan's documentary A Bigger Splash centering on the famous artist David Hockney has been restored in 4K, and will be re-released in select theaters this Friday by Metrograph Pictures.

A Bigger Splash focuses on the end of Hockney's relationship with his muse and model Peter Schlesinger as it coincides with the creation of his most well-known painting "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)." The clip below shows one of his pieces in progress, the video beautifully restored to highlight vibrant shades of blue, green, and pink, colors Hockney used in much of his own artwork.

Director Hazan follows Hockney and his inner circle of artisan friends over a span of three years, turning the documentary formula on its head as he turns away from formal talking heads in favor of improvised intimacy.

A Bigger Splash is considered a landmark of queer cinema, made during a particularly impactful time for the LGBTQ+ community as the effects of Stonewall rippled throughout America, but before the AIDS crisis had hit. The film's unique perspective comes from an interest in absolute honesty, with an intense focus on Hockney's life and relationships as a form of art in and of itself.

You can watch the full trailer and find details on screening dates and locations here.

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