October 2, 2016
The Academy of Muses
(Dir. José Luis Guerín, 2015)
Co-presented by Cinefamily!
611 N. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Spanish filmmaker José Luis Guerín’s first narrative feature since the beloved In the City of Sylvia is a work of both immaculate refinement and deceptive ambition. Centered on a married, middle-aged philosophy professor (Raffaele Pinto) who uses his theories on creativity and the role of the muse to intellectually seduce his female students, the film furthers Guerín’s interest in the psychology underpinning the male-female dynamic, constructing a reflexive framework through which to interrogate the very process of artistic inspiration. Set in the world of academia yet bereft of the monotony suggested by such a setting, the film unfolds in the guise of nonfiction before flowering into a moral tale of literary expanse. Beautifully composed and intimately pitched, The Academy of Muses brings art and life into unique dialogue, stimulating the senses as readily as it prompts reflection.
~ Join us for a post-screening reception on Cinefamily's back patio.
A dazzling achievement.
- Adrian Martin, Fandor
The Academy of Muses plays something like a Frederick Wiseman movie—half a drama of speech and half a drama of faces, its subject no less than the confrontation between sound and image itself.
- Christopher Small, Film Comment
Erudite, sensitively mature and wickedly comic, The Academy of Muses was the most universally admired of Locarno's unveilings; hopefully, its reception will herald a busy new phase in Guerin's sparse filmography.
- Neil Young, Sight & Sound
A dialogue-dizzy dispositif which, like Guerín’s flâneur/voyeur piece In the City of Sylvia (2007), is concerned with desire as a driving force... Even the progressive idea of an “active” muse that Pinto puts forth may strike some viewers as retrograde, but The Academy of Muses is a testament to the symbiotic synergy between filmmakers and their muse-subjects.
- Nick Pinkteron, Artforum
Billed as a “pedagogical experience,” Guerin’s faux documentary wittily explores the delicate subject of erotic tension between randy professors and ambivalent students... As much of an ethnographic film as a playful hybrid, Guerin demonstrates how the pseudospontaneity of feigned documentary can evolve organically into restrained melodrama.
- Richard Porton, Cineaste
(Available to download after screening date)