The Gent is a mix of fact-and-fiction in which some of NYC’s most engaging personalities invent the life and times of a fictitious artist named “Cardero”- a composite of 1920s Lost Generation poet Harry Crosby and 1990s dot-com millionaire Josh Harris. The Gent melds the two stories to create a fable about a late 1990s banking heir turned artist who throws extravagant Warhol-esque parties, and is caught in a star-crossed romance in the euphoric run up to a financial crash. continue…
The Gent is both the tale of a fictional character, a New York-based eccentric and self-styled artist named “Cardero,” and an exploration of chance and synchronicity in the creation of fiction. The Gent features interviews with disparate NYC luminaries, whose spontaneous responses to a series of random questions have been re-contextualized to form the story. Cardero comes to life as a complex reflection of different eras in the 20th century, the 1920s and the 1990s; of New York culture, art and nightlife; and of madness, extravagance, artistry, and a life that defies limitations and strives for transcendence and meaning.
The Gent creates a contemporary urban myth by interlacing both the real memories and improvisational fantasies of a variety of New York artists, art critics, journalists, actors, and other notables including historian Howard Zinn, artist Genesis P-Orridge, actress/performance artist Ann Magnuson, and Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA. Given no context of the larger plot or character arc, each interviewee’s impromptu response was captured first take. These reminiscences sometimes describe actual events; other times, they bear little relationship to reality. But together they craft a multidimensional character who pushed the boundaries of the art world, whose obsessions veered between the realms of inspiration and delusion, accomplishment and idiocy, and who left a lasting mark on the New York art scene, as well as everyone interviewed in the film. As each person adds their “memories” to the film, we witness a unique method of collaborative creation, with each person filling in details of Cardero’s rise and fall from their own distinct perspective, and collectively presenting the work of fiction — a portrait of an artist named “Cardero.”
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