Who Gets to Call It Art?

Who Gets to Call It Art? Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This documentary provides a wild ride through the NYC art scene of the 1960's, through the eyes of Henry Geldzahler, the first curator of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Film Forum)


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    One of the greatest art documentaries ever made. Through an imaginative mixture of rare footage, audio recordings and contemporary interviews with the living legends of modern art, Rosen has created a cinematic portrait which is, in itself, a work of art.
  2. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Lively, intelligent collage, both richly complex and immediately accessible.
  3. Shot with a Peter Greenaway-like austere impudence and edited brilliantly (by Jed Parker), this is an entertaining movie, and a moving one--even if, like me, you're not especially fond of these paintings or that scene.
  4. 70
    Fun, lively, and a tad superficial.
  5. The film's appeal is for the eyes. Because Henry got to call it art, it's on display once again.
  6. The film's flippant style ultimately undermines its material - Rosen's decision not to immediately identify interviewees is especially irritating - and, ironically, makes the American art scene of the '60s appear as shallow and trendy as its detractors always claimed it was.
  7. This glib, largely uninformative and poorly organized précis of the post-World War II art scene, with its emphasis on New York in the 1960's and the curator Henry Geldzahler, succeeds neither as history nor as art history.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. PeggyQuinn
    May 29, 2007
    Excellent film. Editing was superb; sound track was perfect.
  2. Lois
    Feb 7, 2006
    Loved it. This film gave me a real sense of the art scene in the 60's and the man who played such a prominent role in it.