My Kid Could Paint That | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

My Kid Could Paint That

Is 4-year-old Marla, of Binghampton, N.Y., a child-prodigy painter, with an innate gift for abstract expressionism? Is there a con afoot, by her weekend-artist dad or her ambitious gallery rep? Who can judge whether splattered paint is child's play or high art worth millions -- and how? And, on another tangent, what sort of parents put a preschooler through the full-bore media wringer? You'll ponder these questions and more in Amir Bar-Lev's low-key but ultimately provocative and unsettling account of young Marla's three-year odyssey through Art, Fame, Scandal and Today's Media-genic Family. My Kid constructs two parallel tracks that reflect crazy light on each other: Just as one man sees deep meaning where another sees a paint blotch, so does the marketing of a child's "talent" toggle easily between opportunity and exploitation. There are no answers from Bar-Lev; he can't even sort out how the very act of his film might be shaping the story, altering perceptions or even harming Marla's childhood. Starts Fri., Nov. 23. Regent Square (AH)

Flamingo Fest at the National Aviary
27 images

Flamingo Fest at the National Aviary

By Mars Johnson