A new trailer for Mapplethorpe is here. "You may not know us yet, but we're going to be big stars." These are the words that rock icon Patti Smith (Marianne Rendon) kicks off the first trailer with. The upcoming biopic on artist Robert Mapplethorpe sees former Doctor Who star Matt Smith as the important and controversial figure. Indeed, both of these figures went on to achieve star status, but in very different ways and with very different outcomes. Whereas Smith would go on to craft some of the greatest music ever produced, Mapplethorpe would go on to push the boundaries of photography as art, given his use of eroticism and exploration of sexual themes in his work.

This first footage highlights both the work of the artist at hand and the performance of Matt Smith. For his part, Smith seems to have disappeared into the role and is nearly unrecognizable. The trailer isn't shy about showing off some of the artist's work and does a fine job of setting up the various controversies the titular figure faced during his rise to fame. Smith lays the whole thing out with one particularly compelling line.

"I'm an artist. I would've been a painter, but the camera was invented."

Robert Mapplethorpe is, to many, one of the most important artists of the 20th century. He found his voice in New York City during 70s and 80s. Mapplethorpe showcases his life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the now-famous Chelsea hotel, where he began photographing those who lived there and his new found friends. These people include artists, musicians, socialites, movie stars, and even members of the S&M underground. The artist's work showcased eroticism in a way that hadn't previously been brought before the public eye. Exploring the intersection of his art, sexuality and struggle for mainstream recognition, Mapplethorpe is a portrait of the man at his creative height, as well as a look at the destructive nature that nearly dismantled everything.

While the subject matter seems compelling, this may not be the movie the trailer paints it to be. Mapplethorpe debuted initially at the Tribeca Film Festival and the critics who have seen it have not been kind to the movie overall. As it stands, the biopic carries a 33 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 15 reviews counted. But the general consensus seems to be that Matt Smith gives an outstanding performance, regardless of where the movie may be lacking otherwise.

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This comes from director Ondi Timoner, who also co-wrote the script alongside Mikko Alanne. The cast also includes John Benjamin Hickey, Mark Moses, Carolyn McCormick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kerry Butler. In addition to the trailer, the studio has also released a rather, shall we say fitting poster, which we also have for you to check out. Mapplethorpe is set to hit theaters on March 1, 2019. Be sure to watch the new trailer from the Samuel Goldwyn Films YouTube channel below.

<strong><em>Mapplethorpe</em></strong> movie poster

Ryan Scott