If you’re the kind of person who thinks most modern art is horrific, well cheer up because after years of being mocked for not understanding a picture’s deeper meaning, or being convinced it’s been hung the wrong way up, you may finally have the last laugh.
A woman lies on the white floor of a white gallery, next to a giant silver sphere, surrounded by her own blood. “People thought she was part of the exhibit” says Josephina.
The terrifying yet extremely colourful trailer for Velvet Buzzsaw is a cautionary tale that will have many people chuckling in between their screams, as avaricious art snobs get their comeuppance.
Being greedy in your art-related exploits now runs the risk of burning, limb removal, or monkey arms coming out of the mirror to strangle you.
Jake Gyllenhaal is an art gallery owner, the brilliantly named Morf Vandewalt.
Mort is all black polo neck, thick black rimmed glasses, slightly too severe black haircut, black soul (I’m assuming), plus an overarching air of superciliousness that masquerades as self-satisfied dry wit: “I think sober hasn’t been good to him” he says about an artist.
When Josephina brings him a collection of unnerving paintings by a hitherto unknown artist, it’s seen as a chance to make money – even when it turns out the mysterious artist, now dead, wanted all his works destroyed. As people buy the paintings they start to be affected by a supernatural entity which seems to reside in them.
The trailer is certainly scary, but rather lovely to look at too – all those swirling colours in the twisted pictures contrasting with the calm white and silver of your “traditional” modern gallery space.
Directed by Dan Gilroy, Velvet Buzzsaw also stars Rene Russo, Toni Collette, and John Malkovich, with Zawe Ashton as Josephina, the young woman who finds the paintings when her upstairs neighbour dies with no friends or family.
It’s released on Netflix and “in selected theaters” on 1 February. Check out the trailer below, though preferably not in the middle of the night when you’re the only person downstairs as I’ve just done.