Feature Film USA 2018

The film examines the life of Robert Mapplethorpe before he and Patti Smith moved to the famous Chelsea hotel in New York. This was the place where the photographer began to portray New York's residents and musicians, cinema stars and the members of the BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/submission and Sadism/Masochism, also called SM or S&M) underground. Ondi Timoner explores the intersectionality between the art and the sexuality of the photographer and his struggle for official recognition. Mapplethorpe presents a blurred portrait of an artist at the zenith of his career and his self-destructive drives which threaten to destroy everything. No other photographer had been as skilful as Robert Mapplethorpe in portraying beauty and ambiguity. After his death his name remained synonymous with artistic contrasts and daring originality, as exemplified by his black and white prints of sensual flowers, on the one hand, and his provocative nude images, on the other.

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