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Tribeca Fest: Controversial Art Doc 'Portrait of Wally,' Audience Award Winners

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 29, 2012 at 3:15PM

Andrew Shea's art doc 'Portrait of Wally,' which documents the tug-of-war surrounding a controversial Egon Schiele painting, played at Tribeca Saturday night, and earned some strong early reviews: Variety:
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'Portrait of Wally'
'Portrait of Wally'

Andrew Shea's art doc 'Portrait of Wally,' which documents the tug-of-war surrounding a controversial Egon Schiele painting, played at Tribeca Saturday night, and earned some strong early reviews:  

Variety:

It's the rare film about art that warrants the warning label "bombshell," but "Portrait of Wally" isn't just about stolen art: It's about cultural skulduggery, political sleaze, institutional hypocrisy and the virtues of persistence. Turning over rocks in and around the New York art world, helmer Andrew Shea finds a lot of ugly stuff while chronicling what amounts to a 60-year hostage drama centered around the Egon Schiele oil painting that gives the film its title. Docu may have a tough time breaking out of its art niche, but will scandalize auds who take the plunge.


THR:

A blow-by-blow account of an art-world scandal with far-reaching implications, Andrew Shea's Portrait of Wally may be too narrowly focused for some viewers, but offers an engaging narrative and high-profile subject that should attract audiences at fests and in specialized theatrical bookings.

Here's the LAT's 2005 coverage of the case: and NPR's original audio report by David D'Arcy, one of the film's producers, who stopped working for NPR afterwards, complete with subsequent MoMA-dictated "corrections."

Meanwhile the festival announced its audience awards for documentary and narrative films. They went to "BURN," about Detroit firefighters, and "Any Day Now," a family drama about two men in the 70s, respectively. The festival ends Sunday.
 

This article is related to: Festivals, Festivals, Tribeca Film Festival, Documentary, Reviews, Reviews, Documentaries


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.