Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Risk Factor

Any artist worth his or her salt is willing to take risks, even to the point of wasting an entire life on a pursuit that bears little tangible fruit. This is the central theme The Risk Factor, a portrait of Lambertville, New Jersey artist Paul Matthews.

A heir to the Proctor & Gamble fortune, Matthews eschewed the careers that are often expected of a privileged young man — law, academia, business and medicine — and instead used his modest trust fund to support his painting. When starting out, he was certain of his destiny as a famous artist, but time brought him back to earth; this documentary, a retrospective on his life and career, asks a probing question: was it worth it?

Despite his blue-blooded upbringing, most people can identify with Paul Matthews, a careerist who struggled to live up to his own youthful ambitions. It's a film about fame, recognition and missed opportunities. Paul's story is at turns amusing and sad, but ultimately, it's optimistic.

You can watch the trailer here (parental discretion advised): The Risk Factor Preview