Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    18 (UK): Strong sexualised images, sex references, nudity.

  • The pitch:

    A ruined cupid.

  • Starring:

    Debbie Harry, Fran Lebowitz, Robert Mapplethorpe (archive footage), Edward Mapplethorpe, Paul Martineau, Brooke Shields, David Croland, Carol Squiers, Bob Colacello, Jack Fritscher, Robert Sherman, Sandy Daley, Peter Berlin

  • Directed by:

    Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato

  • Running time:

    108 minutes

  • Rated:

    CTC (Australia), 18 (UK), NR (USA)


    Images/art of people holding weapons (guns, knife), wearing noose. Police close down an art exhibition; gallery and director prosecuted. Protesting, lying. Corruption, violence, crime, homelessness in 1970s New York, yelling, angry reactions, theft mentioned. Blood/gore: Film of nipple being pierced. Images of dead rabbit in painting and photographs. Monkey skull. Scars. Cutting off/boiling down dead pet's head to bone and using it in art project mentioned. A newspaper headline announces Mapplethorpe's death. Skull jewellery. Living corpse mentioned. Medical: Images of person with medical condition (AIDS, alopecia). Needles piercing skin. References to blood, IV drips.


    Many graphic images of/references to/descriptions of sex acts, including: S&M, scatological, orgies, swings, gay porn, homosexuality, urination, oral sex, anal sex, BDSM, inserted/pegged/weighted objects on genitals, bondage, fisting, masturbation, prostitution, pornography, tongue kissing, erotic asphyxiation, festishism, genitalia. Full male and female nudity (front and back) in photos, film and drawings (penises, breasts, vaginas, anuses visible). People in underwear, shirtless men, topless women, skimpy clothing, bondage gear, cross-dressing. Penis sculpture. Reference to animal masturbating. Sexual innuendo.


    Alcohol (beer, wine, spirits, champagne). Smoking. References to drug-taking (acid, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, MDA). Story about child being tricked into eating cigarette ash.


    F-words, a-words, bastard, p*ssing. Homophobic language and slurs. Sexual-themed slang. Religious references.


    Robert Mapplethorpe, photography, controversy, documentary, BDSM, erotica, fetishism, homosexuality, sexual liberty, AIDS, fame, celebrity, greed, death, porn art, parent-child relationships, trailblazers, ambition.


    Court setting. Snake. Urination, toilet. Animal skull. Animal throwing faeces, chewing toenails mentioned.


    Robust, celebratory, insightful, candid, confrontational, illuminating, frank, accessible, shocking, in-depth, provocative, snappy, confident, explicit, fascinating, troubling, absorbing. Amusing anecdotes, brisk editing.


    Generic/chronological structure.

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