Art School Confidential

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Screenwriters: Daniel Clowes

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Art School Confidential tracks an art student who dreams of becoming the greatest artist in the world. Arriving as a freshman at a prestigious East Coast art school, Jerome quickly discovers that talent alone does not get him very far. When he sees that a clueless jock is attracting the glory rightfully due him, Jerome hatches an all-or-nothing plan to hit it big in the art world and win the heart of the most beautiful girl in school. But all is not as it seems, and he quickly learns that sometimes you really should be careful what you wish for.

The film reteams Ghost World helmer Terry Zwigoff and cartoonist/screenwriter Dan Clowes. This time they shift their insightful gaze to the world of art schools and their vulnerable inhabitants. Their genius lies in the ability to peel off the layers of these type characters and expose their soft underbellies, leaving them open to be petted or skewered, depending upon how the viewer perceives them. No one is spared in this biting, but hilarious, exploration of the random and subjective nature of art. With a breakthrough performance by Max Minghella as Jerome, and a truly inspired one by John Malkovich as the pretentious and frustrated professor, Zwigoff makes a triumphant return to Sundance (Crumb won the Grand Jury Prize in 1995) with a film brimming with sardonic empathy and infused with an underground comic consciousness.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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