About Mapplethorpe: The Director's Cut

Pre-screening Gallery Talk: Mapplethorpe in Focus | February 19, 12 pm | Martha and David Moore Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Study, third floor, Eskenazi Museum of Art: Nan Brewer, the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s Lucienne M. Glaubinger Curator of Works on Paper, and Rebecca Fasman, curator at the Kinsey Institute, will discuss a portrait of the artist Louise Nevelson by Robert Mapplethorpe in the museum’s collection and a small selection from a gift of 30 works by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the Kinsey Institute in 2011. Some of the images presented contain nudity and/or sexual situations. Free, but registration required as space is limited. Register here.

Mapplethorpe: The Director’s Cut offers restored scenes to the film depicting Robert Mapplethorpe’s childhood love of photography, his embattled relationship with his father, and his lingering, ambivalent connection to the Catholic faith. The film follows Robert’s (Matt Smith) important love affair with Patti Smith and his subsequent, pivotal romance with powerhouse art collector Sam Wagstaff. We see Mapplethorpe’s development of a precise, erotically charged photographic style, along with his ultimately successful struggle to attain mainstream recognition—a status interrupted, although barely halted, by his untimely death from AIDS. [114 min; drama; English]

“The thing that makes the film stand out is the way it shows artists relating to each other and to their work. It's rare to see a movie about creative people that accurately captures the way they'll size each other up on first meeting and then, once they've determined that the other person is serious, proceed immediately to the sharing of influences and the granular discussion of theory and technique.” – Matt Zoller Seitz,

Mapplethorpe: The Director's Cut elevates the material from a mediocre biopic to a compelling and challenging vision of a man driven to near madness by his own contradictions, not to mention everyone else around him.” – David Reddish, Queerty

Any film screened at IU Cinema may contain content that viewers find sensitive or upsetting. Visit our Audience Advisories page to learn more.

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