Posthumous is the first feature written and produced by The Farewell’s Lulu Wang.
When I really like a movie I go and try and found out everything I can about the project and the creators who made it.
So after watching The Farewell I ended up watching a video interview where Wang mentions her first feature and after hearing the premise I was enthralled.
This movie is cute, I thought it was a brilliant idea.
The story is about an artist who makes it big after his death but the catch is he’s actually still alive!
As a fan of Basquiat’s work I’ve heard of the art community paying enormous amounts of money on pieces of artwork from artists who didn’t receiver the same praise and adulation or even financial success while they were living.
Liam Price is an artist who feels passed over and abandoned by the art word, he drowns his sorrows in alcohol passing out on the street with a passerby steals his stuff.
So when his bag containing sketches and drawings is discovered in the possession of a now corpse most assume he’s dead and since the man was disfigured by the train that hit him it made scene for him to be mistaken for Liam.
This begins a serious of crazy events for Liam who now has to avoid the very community he’s yearns to connect to through his work.
I feel it was creative the ways they answered the logistical questions I had about the entire situation.
The man assumed to be Price was disfigured so it near impossible for a positive id.
Also it helped that Price himself didn’t know he was “dead” so he didn’t begin this charade out of selfishness, it was a genuine mistake.
The manager of the space, Daniel Volpe, where the art shows generally take place has had a working relationship with Price but he is resentful because Volpe has moved on to showcasing simple crowd favorite artists instead of his work.
There’s a sense of care between the characters and shows even though they have their disagreements there’s no true animosity between the two.
There’s McKenzie Grain, an American reporter traveling with her boyfriend, Erik, who runs with the stereotypical art scene.
Initially framed as her being supportive as the film goes on the audience is told why she has the freedom to leave home and go with him, it’s because she got fired from her last job because of her lack of value to the editor in chief.
She goes to the art space and uploads the sketches from Price’s book which were found at the scene of his presumed suicide.
Unlike her boyfriend who’s purchase of his art was to “invest for our future” she was genuinely touched by his work and went to the showcase of Price’s work.
There she finds her next story, she wants to interview those who knew him and figure out why someone so talented would have such a tragic demise.
She unknowingly sparks a conversation with Price himself, who introduces himself as Price’s brother Jackson and they begin talking about Price’s reason for creating and how people are now misinterpreting his “brother’s” work.
Price is a purist in every sense of the word. Though he’d love to be successful he’d rather be respected and have the freedom to create with no outside pressures.
Since he’s presumed dead he actually now has a chance to experience all of these things.
His work is being branded as genius and edgy while in his loft he’s creating peacefully besides Volpe who since finding out Price isn’t really dead is trying his best to make the best out of a weird situation.
They have the opportunity to make both of their names from his death. Volpe as the man who encouraged and gave Price a platform to showcase his art and Price.
So they decided to stick with the lie that Price did die as the value of his artwork skyrockets.
What I love about this film is the premise and as this film continues you see both that Price and the writer McKenzie get closer through talking about Liam. Price as “Jackson” can speak freely about Liam and his desires and motivations of his artwork and McKenzie has decided to use this opportunity to impress her former Editor in Chief with this great story of interviewing a man many think is dead.
My favorite moments are McKenzie and Liam/Jackson together, they have great chemistry and it’s beyond sexual theres a strong connection through their art and drive. The ending is so great because they figure out a way for Liam to continue to live in society and also challenge the art world similar to a referenced campaign.
Price talks about an artist who put up signage all around the city pleading for his love to come back and it had such an impact that people responding encouraging her to take him back and it turned out that this was all a ruse and was an art that truly impacted others into a call of action.
Liam and Daniel ended up throwing a funeral for Liam where during the vigil he mails his new pieces from his collection proving he is actually alive and that they turned the rumors of his demise was an example of challenging art.
If you want to see the first film by an innovative writer/director then check Posthumous out.