John Malkovich stars as an art professor, and Max Minghella as an aspiring art student attending a prestigious art school. When he arrives he is full of hope and anticipation and has aspirations of becoming the greatest artist in the world. His dreams are soon dashed when he sees another student with seemingly no talent attracting a great deal of attention. Also with Sophia Myles, John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Anjelica Huston and Matt Keeslar. Directed by Terry Zwigoff. [1:42]
SEX/NUDITY 7 - A fully nude man poses for art students to sketch him (bare buttocks, chest and genitals are visible for extended periods of time) and a fully nude man stands in front of a young woman trying to get her attention. A fully nude young woman poses for art students to sketch her (her bare buttocks and breasts are visible and her arm crosses her lap covering her crotch). A young man photographs his scrotum and we see the photographs, and we see photos of nude women hanging on a wall (bare breasts are clearly visible and other details are in shadow).
► A young woman in a very short skirt bends over to tie her shoe and her underpants are visible (an older man looks at her). A young woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage, a girl wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage, and a young man is bare-chested. We see a sculpture of a female form (there's no detail). A young man puts his fingers together to form the shape of a labium.
► Two young men are in bed together (they are bare-chested and covered with a sheet) and it is implied that sexual activity is taking place. A young woman begins to unbutton a young man's shirt implying that she wants to have sex with him (it is also implied that they do not have sex after all).
► A young woman kisses another young woman, and the one being kissed pulls away. We see a photograph of a young man and a young woman kissing. A young man and a young woman kiss the glass that separates them in a visitation room and a young man kisses a drawing of a young woman. A young woman kisses a man on the head tenderly. A young man touches a young woman on the shoulder and she screams.
► A young woman makes a crude remark about a sexual relationship she had with another young woman. A man makes a remark about needing to get back to a sexual activity. A young man tells another young man that he thinks he's gay. A man makes a remark about an art professor, "trolling the halls for fresh meat."
► A man squeezes the hand of a younger man and touches his knee.
VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man grabs a woman around the throat, he squeezes, she yells and thrashes, and he wraps a rope around her neck and pulls: we see the skin around her neck twist, she thrashes, then falls limp to the ground, the man drags her away and we see a red streak on her throat.
► We see a young man tied by the wrists and with jumper cables attached to his nipples, and we hear him scream and hear that he was badly injured. We see paintings of murder victims with distressed facial expressions.
► A boy is punched in the face several times by another boy; the same boy is punched in the face several times by the same boy in another scene. A teenage boy grabs another teenage boy around the throat and squeezes briefly.
► A young man stands on a rooftop, he leans forward to let himself fall over the side, and a police officer tackles him and handcuffs him.
► A man shoots a man, and another man tackles the man with the gun, who falls to the ground and complains of his elbow being injured; it turns out to be a scene in a movie.
► A police officer with a gun breaks through a door. A young man covers himself with paint, then runs into a canvas, falls onto the floor and the canvas falls on top of him.
► A young man drops a cigarette on a carpet in an apartment and we later see the burned out shell of the building and hear that everyone inside died in the fire. People talk about murders and the "Strathmore Strangler." There are several painted canvasses with violent phrases painted on them: "murder = glory," and "kill a cop." A man yells at a young man and says that he will, "bury him and [scatological expletive] on his grave."
► A bare-footed young woman steps on broken glass (no blood is evident). A boy draws a picture of a boy spilling a toilet filled with feces on another boy's head. In a movie shown within the movie we see worms slithering on a piece of wood and a bucket of what looks like blood is poured over a young woman's head. A young man vomits (we see and hear a splat and goo).
PROFANITY 10 - 49 F-words and its derivatives, 25 sexual references, 33 scatological terms, 35 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory terms for homosexuals, 2 derogatory terms for police officers, name-calling (creep, moron, stupid ape, jerk, idiot), 2 religious profanities, 17 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - A young man drinks alcohol from a bottle, a young man vomits after drinking too much alcohol, and a young man carries two bottles of beer. A man drinks alcohol, people drink wine, a woman drinks a glass of wine, people drink alcohol at a party, and people drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes in a bar. A young woman smokes a cigarette in several scenes and a man smokes a cigarette in several scenes.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fitting in, dreams, goals, success, family, art, judging art, bullies, martyrdom, human misery, beatniks, symbolism, obsession, jealousy, desperation, competition, truth, originality, homosexuality, freedom, murder, panhandling, serial murder.
MESSAGE - Defining something as art is subjective and in the eye of the beholder.