"The film somewhat underplays the sexual depravity that Dalí encouraged and inflicted, probably because it would have taken the rating to 18 and have reduced our sympathy for the subject."

While I somewhat understand the decision from a commercial standpoint, I also... don't. After all, we live in a time of almost indescribable pornography available for "free." Maybe it's something like a last grasp at the fleeting strands of a centralized cultural dominance, where a tastemaker elite would titillate while still pretending to be a bunch of sexy sex-rebels suppressed by "The Man."

It would have been better to take the gloves off (as well as other articles of clothing). If pornography has a godly purpose, it would be as a mirror to the kind of demons which drove not just Dali, but the systems of graft and money laundering that buttressed the entirety of the modern art market from DuChamps on.

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Dec 28, 2023Liked by Alexander Adams

Thanks so much for reviewing this film - I have not yet seen it and was wondering what it was like! I always feel a sense of dread at a biopic of a great artist or musician - there’s that fear that it will try and sanitise the artist’s character, to make them a nicer person for the audience, or try to minimise the squalor of their existence. Two of the best art biopics I’ve seen are Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Andrei Rublev’ and Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’ on the American artist Margaret Keane. Two completely different films on two very, very different artists!. Little is known of the life of the medieval Russian painter Rublev, so Tarkovsky was able to make the film itself a work of art. The fact that a film with themes of religion and artistic freedom even got made at all in the Soviet Union is remarkable, although it was censored for decades. Burton’s film portrayed Keane’s struggle for recognition after her husband Walter took the credit for her work.

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