Jack Hazan’s ‘A Bigger Splash’

Melissa Anderson at Artforum:

The painting made headlines last November for the price it took at auction, though this datum doesn’t interest me. More significant is the return of a too-little-revived film that documents Portrait of an Artist’s charged iterations and the circumstances surrounding them. After watching A Bigger Splash a few weeks before its premiere at Cannes in 1974, Hockney said he was “utterly shattered” by it, his anguish spiked further by a film-director friend who favorably—if somewhat incongruously—likened it to “a real Sunday Bloody Sunday,” John Schlesinger’s astute, London-set, big-studio-backed 1971 drama about a love triangle (two men, one woman). More felicitous comparisons might include Wakefield Poole’s Boys in the Sand (1971), a gay XXX landmark in which a Fire Island natatorium becomes a pleasure palace, not to mention Robert Kramer’s Milestones (1975), an epic dirge on the failed dreams of the New Left in the US, which was also devised as a docufiction. (Hazan and Mingay would return to this genre with 1980’s Rude Boy, centering on the Clash.) But as for movies about making (art) and unmaking (a relationship), I can think of none better, or more sinuous—as serpentine as Hockney’s enunciation of a favorite descriptor.

more here.