From 1971–1973, Jack Hazan gained intimate access to David Hockney and his circle of friends and lovers to create A Bigger Splash. Using a 'structured reality' format rather than pure documentary, he crafted a mesmerising film, groundbreaking in style and daring in nature.
A Bigger Splash was made during a critical time in Hockney's life. A long-term relationship with fellow painter Peter Schlesinger had recently dissolved and during this acutely emotional period he was under pressure to work faster and create new work. Already an internationally successful artist, his famous paintings are magically brought to life through the mood, colours and tones of the film and Hazan and his co-writer and editor David Mingay (who went on to make The Clash: Rude Boy together) capture the essence of Hockney the artist and a sense of his fashionable milieu.
Shot in London and California, the film offers a vivid snapshot of the early 70s art scene surrounding Hockney and features appearances by numerous legendary faces; there's his muse, the iconic fashion and textile designer Celia Birtwell with her husband, fashion designer Ossie Clark; art dealer John Kasmin, curator and art critic Henry Geldzahler and Hockney's loyal assistant Mo McDermott. Some of the 'cast' appear in Hockney's paintings; Ossie Clark is seen taking his cat to the Tate Gallery to view Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy.
When released in cinemas in 1974, A Bigger Splash surprised audiences with explicit scenes of male lovemaking and nudity and it ran for over a year in London's West End.
A Bigger Splash will be released in a Dual Format Edition (on DVD & Blu- ray discs) by the BFI on 30th January 2012 at the RRP of £19.99.
Special features will include:
- Love's Presentation (James Scott, 1966, 28 mins), a documentary that captures the creation of Hockney's Cavafy Etchings;
- Portrait of David Hockney (David Pearce, 1972, 14 mins), a short portrait of Hockney in his home and studio;
- Interview with Jack Hazan (2006);
- Original film trailer;
- Illustrated booklet with essays and film notes.