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Movie Review: Art School Confidential

Alternate Title: Pretentious 101

Story: I am an artist. I went to art school. I have a good sense of humor about art, artists and the bullshit that often surrounds the discipline. If you want some hearty laughs, this quirky, sometimes silly, a bit offbeat, not terribly organized film is for you.

Jerome is a serious freshman at Strathmore Art College, located somewhere in NYC. His normalcy sticks out amongst the oddballs in his class of stereotypical art students. The satire surrounding the first year students, their actual art projects, their professors, gallery dealers and their mumbo jumbo art talk is the funniest part of the film. The story line suddenly veers off into a strange serial murder mystery that is for the most part -annoying. But then again, art can be annoying.

Director Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World and Bad Santa) has teamed up once again with writer Daniel Clowes. Their quirky view of the world jumps right off of the comic book pages. The characters are often one dimensional and that part is usually funny.

This film has been playing for a long time in the heart of downtown NYC college district. It definitely has already built in a cult following.

Acting: The acting, like the film is mostly one dimensional, stereotypical stuff. But Jim Broadbent is always good, as is young Max Minghella. There is a cameo role by Angelica Huston and John Malkovich seemed to be having quit a good time as one of the bullshit art professors who has been painting triangles for 20 years.

Predilection: As I mentioned, I went to art school so I was compelled to see this film.

Critters: None

Visual Art: Some of the art is hysterical.

Theater Audience: Surprisingly crowded for a Thursday late afternoon showing. I would say the audience was composed of mostly artists and art students. I went with my friend who is an artist and an administrator at Pratt and we both had lots of fun and chuckles.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 3

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: No drifting for me.

Predictability Level: I really had no idea where this wandering film was going.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Alas, no.

Nit Picking: It could have used some tightening.

Big Screen or Rental: I have no idea.

Length: Under two hours.