my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   The Art of the Steal
Director:   Don Argott
Year:   2009
Genre:   Documentary
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   05.21.15

Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Rock School

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
05.21.15Netflix Thank netflix for recommending a movie with the same name. This is a documentary about the Barnes collection of art and how the city of Philadelphia tried for like 50 years to break the late Dr. Barnes' will and move the art from a tightly controlled educational environment into a big museum where it can make a lot of tourism money.

This movie is... ok. It's maybe 20 minutes too long. But the interesting parts are interesting and I found it a nice subject to think about as I heard the story of what happened. On one hand, there are a whole cadre of people fighting for the collection to stay where it's always been and the movie spends a lot of time laying out an argument that certain wealthy businesspeople conspired for years and years to extract all that art (we're talking about billions of dollars worth) no matter what the guy's damn will says, but on the other hand... after the guy's been dead for half a century... I mean what's the statute of limitations on a dead man's wish? It's hard to really cheer these guys on when so much time has passed. I feel like the barnes foundation got a good 20 or 30 years or whatever of Dr. Barnes' upheld wishes... sooner or later someone's going to want to crack the vault right?

But still... it's amazing how all the stuff outlined in the doc is legal. Not in like an "oh my god you have to see this movie" amazing... but more of a mildly infuriating level of distate for philadelphia politicians. I guess one could take this story on a thematic level of art versus commerce - and it certainly covers that ground - but it's pretty hard to keep you excited when you start showing tax forms and highlighted legal documents.
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