This week NYAB checked out “Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same,” Jody Lee Lipes’ documentary about the off-kilter, passionate, and often goofy journey of Brooklyn-based artist Brock Enright and his girlfriend, painter Kirsten Deirup. The film, which premiered at SXSW earlier this year, was shot mostly in 2007. It documents the couple’s retreat to the California woods near Deirup’s family cabin to prepare for Enright’s first solo exhibition for the Perry Rubenstein Gallery. Enright’s no-holds-barred quest for his muse collides bizarrely with a “Meet the Parents” scenario, in which the artist attempts to do right by his lady, win over her family, and make his art—which involves theater of the absurd, dancing nude under the moon, burning stuff, shooting stuff, drinking with power tools, slashing Gallerist Nicelle Beauchene’s tires, blowing a $40K budget, and other self-indulgent/inspired antics.
Thanks to Lipes’ graceful cinema vérité style, cinematographer’s eye, and his complicit, but not too complicit, filming relationship with the charismatic Enright, the artistic journey manages to guide audiences through the expected tropes referencing Art, Genius, and Creativity in ways that seem intimate, unexpected, and very funny. Cynics will note what a savvy companion piece to the career and work of the emerging artist Enright “Good Times Will Never Be The Same” is; which is certainly true, but it also stands as a mirthful, gently-subversive, and ultimately sweet tale all on its own.