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Culture Watch: 'Earthwork' starring John Hawkes

May 18, 2011 | 10:30 am

Iowacountryside "Earthwork"

Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

John Hawkes of "Winter's Bone" stars as Stan Herd, an earthwork artist from Lawrence, Kan., who overleverages his house (also marriage) in 1996 to get his one big shot at success in Manhattan. The movie is based on a true life story but, more important, feels authentic.

While Herd's brand of earthworks (representational images, as shown at right) is never going to win over the contemporary art world, the film is that rare portrait of an artist that does not indulge in the artist-as-genius myth. Here, art equals commitment plus hard labor -- an expression of self that is both as strong and as impermanent as the movie's other great theme -- family. At the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills Friday to Sunday.


More Culture Watch picks from Times writers

-- Jori Finkel

Image: An actual earthwork created in Iowa by the artist Stan Herd, shown in the film during credits. Credit: Jon Blumb.