Review: ‘Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait’ is a Broad Overview of the Artist

Executive produced by its subject, Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait offers access to the painter, filmmaker, and amateur extreme sportsman with commentary about his work offered up by friends, collaborators, family members, and ex-wives, who all have nice and insightful things to say about the man. Unlike Matthew Barney: No Restraint, which functioned as a skeleton to the work of a mythical artist, this film offers a broad overview into the life and work of its subject, lensed in a sun- and smoke-filled haze by director Pappi Corsicato.

A Private Portrait, though, doesn’t really dig much deeper than simply providing a general look at Schnabel’s roots: a Brooklyn boy who was uprooted to Brownsville, Texas before moving back home to Manhattan where his swagger and bravado rocketed him to stardom in the ’70s and ’80s. It wasn’t until he was interviewed by an unnamed Polish filmmaker about
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