The Cool School
The Cool School (2008)

New York City has long been regarded as the heart of the American art movement, but near the end of the 1940s, as the post-war rise of Abstract Expressionism became the new wave of painting in the United States, a small but determined band… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: July 29, 2008
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A breezy and lively modern art documentary, revealing that LA is not a cultural wasteland when it comes to fine art.

David Jenkins
Time Out

Morgan Neville's 'The Cool School' is a slickly packaged document of the burgeoning modern art scene in LA during the late '50s and early '60s which sadly submerges its fascinating subject matter in technical clutter and contrived set-ups.

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Manohla Dargis
New York Times

The Cool School, a breezy, lively documentary about a thin slice of the Los Angeles fine art scene in the 1950s, is easy on the eyes, and the ears too.

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Wendy Ide
Times [UK]

The Cool School is a history of the LA art scene which will be most interesting for those who are involved in it.

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Ron Stringer
L.A. Weekly

Veteran documentarist Morgan Neville's illustrated history of the painters and sculptors associated with Venice's Ferus Gallery (1957-1967) is at once lively and analytical.

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John Anderson

Cool School is a must for anyone interested in 20th century American art.

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Sam Jordison

Occasionally too reverent, this remains an effective evocation of a vibrant and interesting art scene, not to mention a touching paean to lost youth.

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Lou Lumenick
New York Post


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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly

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.

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David Cornelius

The Cool School is neither as lively nor as complete as it could be, but as an introduction to modern art, it's a fine freshman course.

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