"Beyond the Envelope"
What You Need To Know:
Ed Harris has brought Jackson Pollock alive. Marcia Gay Harden as Krasner matches Ed Harris’ Pollock turn for turn. For those who find Pollock’s work unintelligible, the movie gives meaning to his abstractions. Transformed by reading Carl Jung, Pollock strives to reveal his subconscious, but going so deeply breaks all the artistic barriers. At the end of his life, Pollock becomes very embittered, expressing his extremely spoiled state of mind, a state of mind cultivated by Krasner. She made his art a success, and she refused to allow him to grow up and take responsibility for his actions.
(HH, C, Ho, LLL, V, SS, N, AAA, DD, MM) Humanist worldview with an undertone of Nihilism & 1 positive reference to a church wedding; 44 obscenities, 9 profanities, harsh anti-Semitic racial slurs directed by Pollock toward his wife, & Pollock relieves himself in wealthy woman’s fireplace; several violent tantrums including breaking chair against post & a car accident, although blood & guts are not shown; fornication, adultery & a homosexual character; shadow nudity & various states of disrobing including upper male nudity; alcohol use with many scenes of drunken rage & intent to drink; heavy smoking & taking drugs: and, lying, cheating, anger, & selfishness.
POLLOCK is a tour de force, and one of the best movies made about the life of an artist. Ed Harris directs and stars in this movie about Jackson Pollock, whom LIFE magazine once called the greatest painter in the United States.
After a brief glimpse of Pollock at his first solo exhibition, the movie opens with a flashback of a drunk Jackson Pollock being helped up the stairs by his brother Sandy to their Greenwich village apartment. It is 1941, and Pollock is a struggling, unknown artist, but he’s attracted the interest of Lee Krasner, the daughter of Russian emigrants and an artist in her own right. Soon, Pollock moves in with Krasner, and she starts to promote his art. Peggy Guggenheim takes an interest in him, and sponsors his first show in 1942. Slowly, he develops his style of dripping paint on a canvas, and just as slowly, his career takes off.
Jealous, Krasner gets Pollock to marry her after he beds Peggy Guggenheim. Because of his drunken, manic-depressive state, she moves him out to the Hamptons on Long Island.
By the end, Pollock is famous, but his manic depression has gotten the best of him. Always wanting the child that Krasner denied him, he starts having affairs and eventually kills himself and another woman in a senseless car crash after a drunken spree.
Ed Harris has brought Jackson Pollock alive. POLLOCK is more than a movie, it is a great biography. The acting is superb. Marcia Gay Harden as Krasner matches Ed Harris’ Pollock turn for turn.
For those who find Pollock’s work unintelligible, the movie gives meaning to his abstractions. Transformed by reading Carl Jung, Pollock strives to reveal his subconscious, but going so deeply breaks all the artistic barriers. He avoids the image and denies the accidents.
This is an Aristotelian philosophy of art taken to its extreme. There is nothing left to counter in this contrarian view toward art. It reflects a man in turmoil, and a man who feels a sexual urge to produce his art, which is only completed when the urge is fulfilled.
At the end of his life, Pollock becomes very embittered toward Krasner, and calls her a Jewish c*nt. This bigotry and racism expresses his extremely spoiled state of mind, a state of mind cultivated by Krasner. She made his art a success, and she refused to allow him to grow up and take responsibility for his actions. She refused to give him a child, and his prolonged adolescence ends in adolescent self-destruction.