David Hockney painting © Picturehouse Entertainment

Acclaimed filmmaker Randall Wright’s new feature length documentary on Bradford born artist David Hockney offers a unique view of this unconventional artist, who is reaching new peaks of popularity worldwide. Hockney was made by the team behind the award-winning film, Lucien Freud: Painted Life, with investment from Screen Yorkshire through its Yorkshire Content Fund.

Yorkshire artist David Hockney has given unprecedented access to his personal archive of photographs and films, resulting in a frank and unparalleled visual diary of his long life. As charismatic as ever, at 77 years old he is still working in the studio seven days a week.

An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. He is perhaps most famous for his series of paintings of swimming pools, including 1967 work A Bigger Splash.

Hockney is directed by Randall Wright and produced by Randall Wright and Kate Ogborn for Fly Film.

It’s been said that there was something of the holiday about David Hockney, that, despite personal loss, he sees the world with holiday eyes, as if for the first time. I wanted to capture this attitude without taking away the mystery and magic of a great artist.

Said Randall Wright.

Randall met David Hockney while directing Shock of the Old, a BBC Omnibus film about major artists inspired by pictures in the National Gallery.  In 2003 at Panavision studios in Hollywood, he made a film called Secret Knowledge, demonstrating Hockney’s theory that painters used cameras hundreds of years before the invention of chemical photography. The film won the Grierson and FIFA awards.

David Hockney

The film chronicles Hockney’s vast career, from his early life in working-class Bradford, where his love for pictures was developed through his admiration for cinema, to his relocation to Hollywood where his life long struggle to escape labels (‘queer’, ‘working class’, figurative artist’) was fully realised.

Paradoxically, this escape to live the American Dream did not break the ties to the childhood that formed him. We see how his upbringing and life experiences give him the willpower to survive relationship problems, and later the AIDS epidemic, but also allow him to create some of the most renowned works of the past century.

Hockney is produced by the BAFTA-winner Kate Ogborn of Fly Film (The Unloved), who most recently produced Ken Loach’s documentary The Spirit of ’45 and Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea. The director is Randall Wright, whose previous work includes the RTS winning and BAFTA nominated Lucian Freud: A Painted Life.

Hockney was commissioned by Kim Shillinglaw, Controller, BBC Two and Mark Bell, Head of Arts Commissioning.Hockney is produced by Blakeway Productions and Fly Film Company and is co-funded by BBC Arts and the British Film Institute in association with Screen Yorkshire through its Yorkshire Content Fund, British Film Company and the Smithsonian Channel.

Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy © David Hockney

…a fascinating chronological insight into his life so far and more importantly sheds light on his ideas and personal life. This “talking heads”, documentary offers up touching testimonies and in-depth accounts of the details behind some of his most famous works

Film 3Sixty