Looks like Eliza Dushku’s producing credit on Dollhouse is inspiring a new career track. The current Doll and former Slayer is set to produce a biopic about photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, with the full cooperation of his estate. To help her with this, she’s enlisted the services of Ondi Timoner to helm the film. According to Variety, Timoner’s Interloper Films and Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions are tag teaming the biopic, which will be titled The Perfect Moment.
For artistic ignoramuses such as myself, Robert Mapplethorpe was an openly gay photographer who rose to legendary status in the ’70s and ’80s with his black and white portrayals of socialites, rock stars, flowers and black men among other things. He died from AIDS-related complications in 1989. Timoner’s take on Mapplethorpe: “He is an artist who could not help but express his vision of the
world, despite the tempest it spawned…A pariah to
some, a hero to others, Mapplethorpe’s talent combined with his
irreverence toward social norms made him a cultural lightning rod.”
Mapplethorpe’s works were often the focus for controversy, both during his life and after. The title The Perfect Moment refers to a traveling exhibition of his work, including a shot of a bullwhip in his ass, that was funded by the NEA and caused a firestorm of debate. In the early ’90s, the director of the Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati was even prosecuted for obscenity for showing the exhibition, albeit unsuccessfully. Mapplethorpe photographed such people as Andy Warhol, Peter Gabriel, Richard Gere (sans you know what), and Patti Smith. A sampling of his work can be found here.
Timoner is a documentarian and two-time grand jury prize winner at Sundance, most recently last year for We Live in Public, so the pic could be quite interesting. What really would have been interesting is if Mapplethorpe had lived long enough to photograph Eliza. Don’t know if it’s be art, but I’m sure I’d like it.