My short film of the week: A Brief History of John Baldessari
This short documentary stands out from the crowd. It is a witty and a suitable companion to Baldessari’s life – the playful artist and six foot seven friendly giant.
The documentary profiles Baldessari’s life and career in five and half rapid minutes. Tom Waits narrates in a non-linear style, sharply in conjuction with Baldessari’s blithe dialogue. It creates a provocative mix and occasionally lends itself to surrealism – not to mention Baldessari’s artwork!
There is a profane connection with the audience, as Baldessari is made to seem like a normal guy – he has a messy desk, a chair and a coffee machine. These everyday objects are symbolic of Baldessari’s artistic obsessions with the ordinary. His art flairs from his daily life.
This clever little profile of an extraordinary man is certainly extraordinary and, most of all, a pleasure to watch.