First Hit: Although a bit tedious at times; a direct, sometimes interesting and funny look into the world of modern art.
The roles are very clear in this film.
You’ve got the studio owner Madeline Grey (played by Marley Shelton) who believes she is on a mission to bring forth the "true and emerging artists of our decade". She likes a thumbtack in a wall, chicken bodies buried in a target, and a monkey sucking into a vacuum cleaner hose; these are what she sees as the new art, the important art. She wears glasses which have lenses that are not prescription and make no difference in what she sees; they are just for the look - smart, hip and edgy.
You have the accomplished musician Adrian (played by Adam Goldberg) who plays piano standards in a fancy restaurant but is trying to make a living creating music that is a bit minimalistic and most of the time bizzare.
There is his brother Josh (played by Eion Bailey) who creates un-edgy easy viewing abstract art which galleries won't show but people and corporations like it, so Madeline sells it out of the back of her store by the truckload which keeps her gallery alive and Josh in fine financial form.
However, Josh wants his art to be taken seriously so he is fighting to have a show of his own. You've got the outgoing conceptual artist who thinks he is the real deal creating important work and you have the introverted minimalistic artist who looks to be on the edge of falling into some psychotic comma at any moment.
Lastly, you have the followers of the music and the artists with one patron having made too much money "in computers" thinks what is important is how many pieces he can buy of the "emerging" work.
All of this adds up to a play on what roles people find important and how much they believe in who they are and what they do as being what is really important to the world as a whole.
Adam Goldberg is believable as a struggling musician but his ongoing screen scowl seemed pushed, perpetual, and not realistic. It was an overplay of the deep thinking self important role. Shelton was great and very believable as the singular minded gallery owner who really believed she was making an important contribution with her showing of these edge living artists. The director, Jonathan Parker, did a great job of giving the look and feel of the art scene, although I felt the film was slow at time but some of the jokes were perfect.
Overall: It is funny and at times thoughtful but a little long and I felt that Goldberg needed to lighten up just a little to make his character a little more realistic.