fbpx Mapplethorpe | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements


2018, Ondi Timoner, USA, 102 min.
With Matt Smith, Marianne Rendón, John Benjamin Hickey

Show Times

  • Fri, Apr 12th 8:15pm
  • Sat, Apr 13th 3:45pm
  • Sun, Apr 14th 3:00pm
  • Mon, Apr 15th 8:15pm
  • Thu, Apr 18th 8:15pm
Back by popular demand!

“A superb performance by former Doctor Who Matt Smith…bold and brilliant, an act of possession.”--Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter

“Artistry to match its subject…audiences will feel unable to tear themselves away from its protagonist’s lavish self-destruction.”--Lena Wilson, The Wrap

This fictionalized biopic of iconic photographer Robert Mapplethorpe follows the hedonistic self-destructive trajectory of an artist who spared no one, not even himself, in the creation of the transgressive erotic work that put his career on the knife’s-edge of controversy. Young Mapplethorpe (Smith, of "Doctor Who" and "The Crown"), the conflicted product of a punitive Catholic childhood and runaway from a military prep school, arrives in Manhattan and links up with fellow penniless artist Patti Smith (Rendón), a short-term lover but long-term soul mate. The gift of an old camera changes everything. Actor Smith fully inhabits the role of the beautiful, charismatic “shy pornographer,” as Mapplethorpe embraces his gay identity and comes into his own as an ambitiously driven photographer under the patronage of art collector and new lover Sam Wagstaff (Hickey), leaving a string of broken hearts, cruel betrayals, and used and abused men in his wake. MAPPLETHORPE benefits from the full authorization of the artist’s estate, enabling a host of provocative key works to be depicted authentically. Note: Contains nudity and sexual activity. DCP digital. (BS)

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