The Woodmans
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Francesca Woodman's haunting B&W images, many of them nude self-portraits, now reside in the pantheon of great photography from the late 20th century. The daughter of artists Betty and Charles Woodman (she a ceramicist and he a painter/ photographer), Francesca was a precocious RISD graduate, who came to New York with the intention of setting the art world on fire. But in 1981, as a despondent 22-year-old, she committed suicide. THE WOODMANS beautifully interweaves the young artist's work (including experimental videos and diary passages) with interviews with the parents who have… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's impossible to listen to Francesca's parents, deadly serious about art as a higher calling, without feeling both saddened and disturbed."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"Woodman's black-and-white photographs, many of them self-portraits, convey a haunting sense of isolation; of something forever lost from the empty, almost decaying rooms in which she drapes herself."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"By the time it ends, however, it has applied enough fine brush strokes to create a subtle and vaguely disturbing portrait of a dysfunctional family of artists."
‑ Jim Slotek, Jam! Movies
"A journeyman-like investigation into the life and legacy of photographer Francesca Woodman, C. Scott Willis' The Woodmans is a conventional talking-heads-and-clips documentary."
‑ Vadim Rizov, Boxoffice Magazine
"Unsettling, evocative tale of an artistic yet dysfunctional family."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"The Woodmans tells the compelling, if slightly disturbing, story of a family coming to grips with love, ego, resentment and loss."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Willis works to turn The Woodmans into an existential mystery, through a soundtrack full of moody vibes, interviews shot in tight close-ups, and the floating words from Francesca's diaries that Willis inserts as a kind of answer from beyond the grave."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"Willis' careful balancing act between portraying a unique family unit and the peculiarities of genius winds up making The Woodmans disturbing in an unexpected way."
‑ Armond White, New York Press
"a movie that burrows into questions about how our talents are molded, how artistic promise can lead to crippling loneliness, and the burden of great expectations."
‑ Chris Cabin,
"A thought-provoking look at one troubled family of artists and their need to express themselves."
‑ Matt Singer,
"Willis provides no easy answers and points no fingers, but the search proves fascinating."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"An indelible group portrait of a family of artists."
‑ Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
"The Woodmans isn't out to demonize Francesca's upbringing or to play the blame game for her untimely death."
‑ Diego Costa, Slant Magazine
"Though compelling, it is a complicated and difficult experience to watch The Woodmans."
‑ Marcy Dermansky,
"This intriguing docu, winner at the 2010 Tribeca Film Fest, offers a poignant look at the haunting art of Francesca Woodman by placing her life and work in the broader contexts of her family (her parents are artists) and NY art world."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for The Woodmans on Rotten Tomatoes

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