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High Art

Promotional film poster
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko
Produced by Antidote Films
Jeff Levy-Hinte,
Susan Stover,
Dolly Hall
Written by Lisa Cholodenko
Starring Radha Mitchell
Gabriel Mann
Ally Sheedy
Patricia Clarkson
Release date(s) January 21, 1998
Running time 101 min
Language English

High Art (1998) is an independent film directed by Lisa Cholodenko and starring Ally Sheedy and Radha Mitchell.



Sydney (or simply 'Syd'), age 24, is a woman who has her whole life mapped out in front of her. Living with longtime boyfriend James, and working her way up at the respected high-art photography magazine Frame, Syd has desires and frustrations that seem typical and manageable. But when a crack in her ceiling springs a leak and Syd finds herself knocking on the door of her upstairs neighbor, a chance meeting suddenly takes her on a new path.

Opening the door to an uncharted world for Syd is Lucy Berliner, a renowned photographer, enchanting, elusive, and curiously retired. Now 40, Lucy lives with her once glamorous, heroin-addicted German girlfriend Greta, and plays host to a collection of hard-living party kids. Before Syd's caught her breath, she's caught Lucy's fascination and is drawn into the center of Lucy's strangely alluring life upstairs.

When Syd's bosses at Frame catch wind of her acquaintance with Lucy, they suddenly take interest in Syd and pressure her to bring Lucy to the magazine. Soon a working relationship develops between the two and a project is underway which promises a second chance for Lucy's career. But as Syd and Lucy's collaboration draws them closer together, their working relationship turns sexual and the lines between love and professionalism suddenly blur. As Syd slowly discovers the darker truths of Lucy's life on the edge, she is forced to confront her own hunger for recognition and the uncertain rewards of public esteem.

Cast and crew



Soundtrack by Shudder to Think

Production notes

The photography by Lucy Berliner (Sheedy) was based on Nan Goldin's work. The photographs themselves were made by Jojo Whilden.[1]


  1. ^ "Cold Dish of Careerism". Metroactive Movies. 1998-06-18. Retrieved 2009-12-22.  

External links

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