Lisa Schwarzbaum
March 26, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Cool School

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
86 minutes
Limited Release Date
03/28/08
performer
Dennis Hopper
director
Morgan Neville
distributor
Arthouse
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A-

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-

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