SFIFF Report: Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present

Within minutes of getting out of Unforgiven, I was back in the same auditorium for this documentary.

B+ Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
I’ve never seen the point of performance art (as opposed to the performing arts, whichMarina Abramovic I love), but Matthew Akers’ documentary on this particular performing artist won me over. It follows Abramovic’s preparations and presentation of a major show at MOMA, with sidelines into her past life and work. She’s a fascinating person, filled with life, devoted to her work, humane, empathetic, and sexy as all hell (at 63). For her art, she puts herself through more physical torture than a ballerina or a stunt double. For this show, she sat for many hours a day, not saying a word and barely moving, as museum patrons sat down across from her and looked into her eyes for a few minutes. Often, they ended up crying.

It plays again, tomorrow, at the Pacific Film Archive at 5:40.

Will you have other chances to see it? The film opened with an HBO logo. I don’t know whether that means it has played on the premium network or it will. Also, the festival included Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present on their list of films that will or may receive commercial release after the festival.