Ended on 4/10/2008

COOL SCHOOL -  (unrated)

2007 - USA - English - 86 minutes - Arthouse Films

Directed by: Morgan Neville

Featuring: Irving Blum, Walter Hopps, Ed Ruscha, Frank Gehry, Dennis Hopper, Ed Kienholz

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"Anyone who even glances at the history of modern art on the West Coast will find some mention of the Ferus Gallery, which operated in Los Angeles from 1957 to 1966. A pivot point in that city's half-century transition between cultural backwater and international art center, Ferus has waited too long for the snappy documentary treatment it receives from Morgan Neville and co-writer Kristine McKenna.

The brainchild of revered curator Walter Hopps (1932-2005), Ferus began life as a showcase - which almost nobody noticed at the time - and a gathering spot for ambitious artists in the buttoned-up '50s.

Only a decade earlier, New York had claimed the mantle of Modernism from war-devastated Europe and had no thought of ceding it to West Coast upstarts. Meanwhile, artists such as Ed Kienholz (1927-1994), John Altoon (1923-1968), Robert Irwin, Ed Moses and Billy Al Bengston had formed a loose bohemian community, modeled more on the local surfer culture than along Greenwich Village lines."
Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

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