The Cool School

The Cool School

Genre: Documentary; Starring: Dennis Hopper; Director: Morgan Neville; Runtime (in minutes): 86; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: Arthouse

Documentarian Morgan Neville takes an appropriately lively, left-field approach to The Cool School’s eye-opening history of the Beat-era Left Coast art scene — a lesser-known chapter in the story of American modern art. Those who lived it tell the story of the influential Ferus Gallery, a Los Angeles outpost of scrappy artists — among them Ed Kienholz and Ed Ruscha — who worked blithely independent of prevailing East Coast trends. The rare footage of ’50s and ’60s L.A. alone is a treasure; the City of Angels has rarely looked so hip. Bonus: cool music from the likes of Charles Mingus and the Velvet Underground. A-

Originally posted March 26 2008 — 12:00 AM EDT

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