‘Velvet Buzzsaw:’ Money and cursed art paint a strange spectacle

A still from ‘Velvet Buzzsaw,’ now out on Netflix. (Photo courtesy: Netflix)
Updated 02 February 2019

‘Velvet Buzzsaw:’ Money and cursed art paint a strange spectacle

CHENNAI: The art world is seedy. Money is a menace, and industry elites can be monsters. That is the overarching message to take from Dan Gilroy’s film “Velvet Buzzsaw,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 27, and had hopped over to Netflix by Feb. 1.

Gilroy made a big impression with his 2014 thriller “Nightcrawler,” which featured strong performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. Now, Gilroy has got the band back together, but the result is decidedly less captivating than their first collaboration. Where “Nightcrawler” was comically ghoulish, “Velvet Buzzsaw” lacks humor, is uptight and, at times, borders on the bizarre.

The opening draws us into the murkiness of the art world. Critic Morf Vendewalt (Gyllenhaal), makes or breaks careers in tandem with gallery owner Rhodora (Russo) and her assistant Josephina (Zawe Ashton), with whom he is in a relationship. Money, not art, is the name of the game, but things take a turn when the trio embark on the sale of artworks which, it transpires, their dead creator had insisted be destroyed. The film then veers into a maelstrom of death and the supernatural, featuring flesh-eating sculptures and cursed paintings.

This is not a standard horror movie. Though equal parts grisly and fantastical, it is more a sadistic satire on an art industry which, beneath a veneer of culture and civilization, is toxic to its core. Artists, dealers, critics and collectors circle each other in a macabre dance of wealth, power, back-stabbing and opportunity. But such a hungry industry swallows even its own in the end, as the protagonists discover to their cost. Yet overall, this is far from a dream follow-up from Gilroy, though a strong, tense score from Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders goes some way toward redeeming the film, giving it a well-paced tempo.

David Beckham in talks to make new film about himself 

Updated 03 August 2020

David Beckham in talks to make new film about himself 

DUBAI: David Beckham is reportedly in talks with streaming services Netflix and Amazon to make a new film about his life, according to British national daily The Sun. 

The movie, inspired by basketball player Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance,” will be produced by the English footballer’s TV company Studio 99, which launched last year.


Saturday sunshine walk but someone isn’t overly impressed with my hat I obviously love it @victoriabeckham

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

A source told the newspaper: “It’s something David is excited about and has wanted to do for a while.”

“The film will feature new content and archive footage. It’s going to be about David’s life post-football, especially the creation of his new team in Miami, but will have some personal content too,” the insider added. 

Beckham, who has four kids with his singer and fashion designer-wife Victoria Beckham, has already started working on the project and is currently in talks with both entertainment companies over the rights.