2023 SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW!
Peter Bradley is an artist that hasn’t really managed to find recognition–but has managed to explore art throughout his entire life. Peter has somehow remained somewhere close to mediocrity, not in terms of his art, but in terms of what he’s been able to accomplish in the grand scheme of the art world. A team of filmmakers sits down With Peter Bradley, and he describes his journey through life and art.
Realistically Peter’s art is simplistic. A simple blend of colors on canvas is Peter’s bread and butter–and that’s what he’s stuck to since the 1970’s. With Peter Bradley is a reflection of the art that Peter has created throughout the course of his life. It’s straight to the point, completely void of any strange ploys or twists. With Peter Bradley simply tells the story of an artist, of a man–and it’s honest through and through. Peter is the best person to tell his story–and apparently he’s the only person to tell his story. Without testimonies from anyone else, Peter tells his entire story–seemingly without leaving anything out. He talks about drug use, racism, and being adopted–and with how candid he is throughout, it just doesn’t seem like an option to believe that anything he says is fabricated. I love his passion and his vigor–not just for his art, but for life–even if believes a lot of it is bullshit.
Peter almost seems obsessive, and I’m not sure if it’s truly obsession or if he’s managed to remain closer to dedication. This is the one piece of With Peter Bradley that causes viewers to really think. They have to think about the effort that they put forth into the things that they care about, and they have to reevaluate the way in which we attack our passions in life. Are we going too far? Not far enough? Is it healthy? Seeing how Peter approaches his art allows viewers to think about these things, and I think that’s beautiful.
With Peter Bradley has such a fun and vibrant score. Peter’s art is paired with soothing sounds of jazz, often led by the piano. The rich symphonies supplement the art that viewers see on screen, and what Peter puts out into the world is made even more powerful as a result of the sounds that exist within the film.
There are no juxtapositional pieces to this puzzle, nothing aimed to oppose the things that Peter says or the things he creates. Every bit of With Peter Bradley is straight forward, and I think that’s the beauty of the film. We don’t have to think too much, we are really just tasked with sitting down and focusing on what Peter is capable of bringing to the table. The fact that there’s little digging required to understand and appreciate the unapologetic nature of the film and of Peter is soothing. I appreciate the way in which Peter and the filmmakers bring With Peter Bradley to life, and the beauty of everything involved is easily understood.
Directed by Alex Rappaport.
Starring Peter Bradley & Rudolph the Cat.