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Friday, February 1, 2019

Kurt Loder Reviews Velvet Buzzsaw: New at Reason

By Reason Staff - February 01, 2019 at 07:00AM

A number of people die for their art in Velvet Buzzsaw. Others manage to survive, but only after enduring onslaughts of art-biz babble like, "Our gallery has cutting-edge analytics to optimize deal-flow and global demand." The smartest person in this new Netflix movie might be a good-hearted office assistant named Coco (Natalia Dyer, of Stranger Things), who bails out of the LA art scene at the end and heads back home to the Midwest, happy, no doubt, to be alive.

Taking a blowtorch to the art world—its inane fads, its swanning critics—is nothing new: Tom Wolfe did it memorably with his 1975 takedown, The Painted Word. What writer-director Dan Gilroy has done differently here is to blend familiar (but still funny) mockery of the art scene with a really creepy supernatural horror story, writes Kurt Loder.

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