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October 2006
Art School Confidential DVD Review

By Kam Williams

Art School Confidential DVD Review

Cast: Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Matt Keeslar, Steve Buscemi and Anjelica Huston
Director: Terry Zwigoff
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Number of discs: 1
Rating: R
Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006
Run Time: 102 minutes
Rated R for nudity, profanity, violences and sexual references.
DVD Features:
Blooper reel
Deleted scenes
Making-of featurette
Footage from the Sundance Film Festival premiere
   

 

Adaptation of Teen Angst Comic Arrives on DVD

Art School Confidential, an acerbic social satire adapted from the illustrated comic book of the same name, revolves around Jerome (Max Minghella), an idealistic freshman from the sticks set to matriculate at Strathmore Institute, a fictional art school in New York City. The promising young painter arrives on campus with two goals: to be discovered as the next Picasso and to lose his virginity to an ardent admirer. But Jerome’s naive notions about both are quickly dashed as soon as he’s befriended by Bardo (Joel Moore), a cynical upperclassman who points out all of the phoniness, pseudo-sophistication and politics which govern the cutthroat art world. This discovery discourages Jerome, who hated the cliques and caste system he’d just left behind in high school. But he soon finds his classmates to be familiar stereotypes, ranging from the angry lesbian to the pretentious blowhard to the wanton nympho to the tree-hugging vegan to the spaced-out bohemian to the empty-nest housewife.

Equally disappointing is the school’s faculty, including the effete art history professor, the flaky studio instructor and the anger management candidate. And off campus, Jerome finds an embittered, alcoholic alumnus and a sleazy gallery owner (Steve Buscemi). Hope for salvaging his semester of discontent finally arrives in Audrey
(Sylvia Myles), the nude model in his studio class. Besides this romance and taking potshots at the art establishment, the plot is complicated by an unsolved murder the case lurking in the shadows. For a slasher dubbed the Strathmore Strangler is running loose on campus, which doesn’t make Jerome’s awkward adjustment to college life any easier.

Like a cross between Rushmore and the aforementioned Ghost World, Art School Confidential is an ingenious spoof shot from the perspective of a rapidly-disillusioned kid plunged to the depths of despair.

Excellent (4 stars)