Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea

Trailer Review

Orpheum · Saugerties

Part of the ARThouse series

June 2 + 5

This dramatic recounting of the life of artist, combat veteran, and acrobat H. C. Westerman pays special attention to the art he made to process his trauma from the  Korean War. Director Buchbinder was once a professional dancer, and tried to capture the movement found in Westerman’s sculptures using 3-D and slow, rotating close-ups. Narrated by Ed Harris, the film features interviews with luminaries including Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, Frank Gehry, and more. It contains music by Laurie Anderson, the Kronos Quartet, Terry Allen, and others. It makes for a supergroup homage to this singular artist. (3-D, dir. Leslie Buchbinder, US, 2023, 86m)

“… the 3-D format is the ideal tool to convey the literal and metaphorical multidimensionality of Westermann’s works, which are imbued with humor, horror, absurdity, and exquisite beauty.” —The AV Club