The Cool School

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Released 2007

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The Cool School

Movie Summary

Director:
Morgan Neville
Released:
2007
Rating:
Not Available

The Cool School, a documentary by director Morgan Neville, brings alive a period in art history where high culture art snobbery was pushed aside in favor of pop culture hipness. The film focuses on the Ferus Gallery, a small joint in Los Angeles, California, curated by Walter Hopps that specialized in the post-war avant garde. Wallace Berman, Robert Irwin, Frank Stella, and most notably, Andy Warhol, were showcased at the Ferus Gallery in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Hopps was just 25 when he started the gallery, and his youth gave him the eye for art, but not the sense for business. Enter furniture salesman Irving Blum, who is described in the film as the art scene's Cary Grant. Blum's sense of marketing helped push the pop work of Warhol and other unproven artists upon the wealthy collectors who kept the art world financially liquid. It was at the Ferus Gallery that Warhol unveiled his iconic Campell's soup can prints. The documentary recreates this influential slice of history with archival film and television footage. Two versions of The Cool School exist: an 86 minute version originally shown in theaters and a 60 minute version that aired on PBS.

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Metacritic Score

  • 91

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The rare footage of '50s and '60s L.A. alone is a treasure; the City of Angels has rarely looked so hip. Bonus: cool music from the likes of Charles Mingus and the Velvet Underground.

  • 70

    Variety

    What The Cool School does so well, through its color accents and black-and-white photography, through the kinetic music that propels Jeff Bridges' narration by and the unorthodox a...

  • 60

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    The Cool School, is, well, cool, but it's also fairly parochial.

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    Categories

    Arts, Documentary

    Themes

    Culture, Painting