Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements


2016, Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan, USA, 88 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, May 12th 2:00pm
  • Sat, May 13th 7:45pm
  • Sun, May 14th 4:15pm
  • Mon, May 15th 6:00pm
  • Tue, May 16th 6:00pm
  • Wed, May 17th 8:15pm
  • Thu, May 18th 8:45pm
Chicago premiere!

"Excellent portrait...a must for filmgoers seeking to understand the amorphous creature called 'contemporary art.'" — John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

"He's exactly the kind of figure who deserves a documentary — and this shocking one has all the humor and panache you could hope for." — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

"His life is his art," says one observer of Chris Burden. The late controversial artist is most infamous for his 1971 piece "Shoot," in which he took a rifle shot in his left arm. "Shoot" was one of a series of 1970s provocations that earned him the sobriquet "the Evel Knievel of the Art World" — including "Trans-fixed," in which his outstretched hands were nailed to a Volkswagen, and the Chicago-set "Doomed," a three-day endurance test for artist and audience that won over an initially skeptical Roger Ebert. Drawing on thoughtful interviews with the artist before his 2015 death, this in-depth portrait reveals the intense, philosophical Burden as more purist than poseur, and even his most outrageous works as much more than stunts. It also goes beyond the nails and bullets to explore an artist of considerable breadth, who abandoned "danger art" to create such massive (though still intimidating) pieces as "Big Wheel" and "Beam Drop" and the more mellow works of his late period, such as the toy-train twister "Medusa's Head" and the L.A. tourist magnet "Urban Lights." The music score was co-composed by Andrew Bird and includes the Burden-inspired Bowie song, "Joe the Lion." DCP digital. (MR)

Play Trailer