What is High Art?

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What is High Art?

High Art is a 1998 film directed by American filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko, starring Ally Sheedy and Radha Mitchell. The movie revolves around the two main characters Sydney (Syd), an assistant editor for a high art photography magazine, and Lucy, a once famous photographer who is now a heroin addict. Syd accidentally stumbles upon Lucy’s life when she knocked on the apartment above hers because of a water leak. This starts a chain of events that would define the film.

Lucy lives with her partner, ex German film star Greta, and together with some riff-raffs who are along for the drugs and the intellectual babble they constitute an exotic world that draws Syd in. She convinces Lucy to do a spread for her magazine, and Lucy agrees only if the magazine allowed Syd to be her editor. During the course of the assignment, Syd and Lucy develop a sexual relationship.

The movie, centered around love, relationships, drugs, power and ambition, was an official entry at the Sundance film festival and received mixed reviews from critics. Some dubbed it a success, including famous film critic Roger Ebert who praised the film for its authenticity, characters and visual impact. While other critics thought it was pretentious and pointless.

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