The life of the famous New York photographer and his friendship with Patti Smith is explored in the new biopic
The first trailer has been revealed of Matt Smith staring as Robert Mapplethorpe in the upcoming biopic Mapplethorpe.
The trailer starring the former Doctor Who and The Crown actor was released today (December 14) ahead of the film’s release next year, in March 2019.
Directed by Ondi Timoner, the biopic chronicles Mapplethorpe’s work as a photographer in New York, his friendship with Patti Smith together with his artistic and sexual awakening in the seventies and eighties.
The film’s synopsis reads: “The film depicts Mapplethorpe’s life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea hotel, home to a world of bohemian chic. Here, he begins photographing its inhabitants and his newfound circle of friends.
“[The film explores] the intersection of his art, his sexuality and his struggle for mainstream recognition, Mapplethorpe offers a nuanced portrait of an artist at the height of his craft and of the self-destructive impulses that threaten to undermine it all.” You can watch the trailer here:
In the trailer, Smith can be heard saying: “Photography, it’s all about light, it’s all about composition, it’s about the personality of the subject…I’m an artist. I would have been a painter but the camera was invented.”
In a recent, newly uncovered interview, Patti Smith spoke about her friendship with Mapplethorpe. Smith described her first meeting with Mapplethorpe, saying “it’s almost like we always knew each other” before talking about how “gifted” he was, together with his “strong work ethic.” Smith goes on to discuss the difficulties in their relationship, how she coped with losing him, and the way they both influenced each other’s art, saying: “I learned to be a little better socially because of him.”
Smith added: “I didn’t like life without Robert and he didn’t like life without me because what we shared was so deep. It had to do with our work, really believing that the other understood our work better than anybody and that we really had this mutual need for each other to validate our work and we trusted one another and we both knew how to make each other laugh and we had a lot to save…
“I still feel him with me, I still feel the confidence he instilled in me and I collaborate with him in my mind. I can still hear him laugh when I’m in certain situations that he would think was funny… I’m still learning. I’ve hopefully learned to be a less judgemental and kinder person [because of him].”
Mapplethorpe is released in cinemas on March 1, 2019.