Monday, July 21, 2008

My Kid Could Paint That (2007) PG13 - 3½ Stars

Well this documentary is a tough call on who you want to believe. While it started out just filming a small girl's obsession for paint, it was caught in the middle of a 60 Minutes interview of controversy. That is whether Marla creates her paintings on her own, or if she has help to finish them off, thus changing the promotional value of the images. After watching this film and even going to her web site, I still feel that Marla is coached by her dad in some ways. I don't feel he is the one actually doing the paintings but I feel he gives her the color choices and guides her on what choices to use and where to put them. I think he might even add parts to show Marla what things can be done to improve the paintings an while I don't think this is wrong of him, I don't believe him when he says he has nothing to do with it. I feel Laura the mom, is pretty much not around when Marla is painting that often and she believes Marla is doing them entirely on her own. Judge for yourself by going to her website or the documentary film maker site and even the article from 60 Minutes.

Marla Olmstead is your typical 4 year old little girl who likes to paint. But Marla is not your typical 4 year old. Born in 2000, she already has an art showing in Binghamton, New York of her abstract art. (Anthony Brunelli) is a gallery owner and painter and Marla's biggest fan. He proudly promotes her work among the artist community.

Marla's work has been displayed around the United States and has even been sold around the world with some going for very high price tags. This documentary is about her life and her parents father (Mark Olmstead), mother (Laura Olmstead) and her younger brother (Zane).

(Elizabeth Cohen) is a Columnist for the Sun Bulletin and she is writing a column about Marla's life. She spends a lot of time with the Olmstead's as well as (Amir Bar-Lev) who directs and produces this documentary. He is documenting her progress at painting and premiere art openings and the fame she and her family are attracting. Once Marla's paintings start selling for thousands, the news broadcast, "60 Minutes," does a piece of the family exposing the idea that Marla is not doing these paintings on her own, but coached from her father, who's also a painter. The public starts doubting the authenticity of the work and sales drop while the family struggles to prove their daughter is creating the paintings all on her own. But on most of the footage by Amir, it appears that when Marla is confronted to paint on film, she reverts to smearing and coloring like any typical 4 year old would be doing. Thus, turning even Amir against the fact that she is doing these paintings alone. The film examines the young girl, her paintings and the controversy behind it in his film.

The Olmstead's make their own DVD videos showing Marla in process of painting and her techniques and at a show in Los Angeles, after the viewing of "60 Minutes", they promote the DVD's showing Marla painting "Ocean." (Jackie Wescott) and (Stuart Simpson) are two Marla collectors who's value of their paintings, fluctuate back and forth between the child's authenticity.

"My Kid Could Paint That" official selection at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Sony Pictures
Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Producer: Amir Bar-Lev
I viewed 7/08

No comments: