Mapplethorpe (2018) Movie Script

[drill sergeant shouting distantly]
[soldiers respond in unison]
[woman laughs distantly]
[drill sergeant and soldiers
shouting continuous]
- [knock on door]
- MAN: Hey, Robert. We're late.
[vinyl record hissing]
[swinging pop music plays]
I've been backing it up
So don't go low
Just watching people
Acting slow
Tonight I'm going to free
This locked-up soul
Inside of me
I'm going to kick off
My shoes, oh
And roll up my collar
While the music grooves
I'm going to jump
And holler
And then we shake
Shake, shake, baby
We got to shake
Shake, shake
Oh, shake, shake, shake
Now it doesn't matter
What kind of song is sung
[car horns honk]
When we get out
On the floor
I'll be right with them
[horn blares]
ROBERT: Mapplethorpe.
I did that job last week.
The piano move.
Well, I was just wondering
if you have any...
Okay, well, I'm available
anytime over the summer.
Okay, thank you.
Thank you.
That's not enough.
Yeah. I mean, I thought since
there's only two hours left,
you might do me a favor.
Come back when
you have more.
And he's allowed me
to go up to the mountain.
And I've looked over.
And I have seen
the Promised Land.
I need your help.
- Sure.
- I'm Patti.
Just pretend you're
my boyfriend, all right?
- MAN: Hey.
- Thank you so much for lunch,
but I found
who I've been looking for.
- I just want to talk.
- Bye.
This poem is great.
I mean, it's great.
What else do you do?
- I draw.
- Oh.
- You gay?
- No. Why?
Do I seem like I am?
No. Not really.
Where do you live?
ROBERT: I'm sort of in
between places right now.
- PATTI: Yeah, me too.
- ROBERT: Oh, yeah?
I have a place to crash though,
in Brooklyn.
It's just a shitty room.
It's somewhere, you know?
[psychedelic rock music playing]
ROBERT: So, she did
that in... in pen.
It's better in pen.
Yeah, this is some
crazy shit.
Really? Wow. Thanks.
You get this good
going to Pratt, huh?
Pratt was just a way
out of Floral Park
because it was my dad's
Alma mater.
I've been drawing
my whole life.
Yeah? He an artist too?
My dad?
No, he's an engineer.
He takes pictures,
but he's no artist.
[lighter flicks and scratches]
Well, uh, I guess I got
to get going.
What? Where?
You know...
No. Stop. Don't go.
You got a bed.
Look, I'll take the couch.
Don't go.
It's been rough.
But I'll make it.
I've been through worse.
Had a feeling
the moment I saw you.
Like Mutt and Jeff,
you know?
Ricky and Lucy?
I'm fascinating,
I know.
- Boy...
- [laughs]
What are you going to do
with this, huh?
"What will become of the world
when no trace of you remains?"
I think there'll be
some traces.
ROBERT: How was your day?
- PATTI: Good.
- [keys clatter]
So, I'm channeling
Duchamp tonight.
That's so different.
That's terrific. Yeah.
[kettle whistles]
Thank you.
- Thank you.
- PATTI: You're welcome.
[Tim Hardin's
"Reason to Believe" plays]
If I listen
Long enough to you
I'd find a way to believe
That it's all true
Knowing that you lied
While I cried
But still I look
To find a reason to believe
Someone like you
Makes it hard to live
Without somebody else
Someone like you
Makes it easy to give
Never think about myself
If I gave you time
To change my mind
I'd find a way
To leave the past behind
Knowing that you lied
While I cried
But still I look to find
A reason to believe
PATTI: What do you think?
It's great.
But I wonder
if they'd get it.
Everyone else.
Everyone who's not us.
I don't think they see the world
like we do.
Our world knows me.
I don't give a shit.
Our world.
Nobody lives there
but us, right?
You like it, yeah?
I told my parents
we got married
in a strawberry field
in California.
Why'd you do that?
It's a beautiful picture.
Don't ever leave me, Patti.
"Joe leaves his job
as a dishwasher
and takes a bus
to New York City."
That's you.
"Where he meets the sickly,
streetwise Ratso."
That's me.
"They eventually become friends,
companions and soul mates,
and help each other survive
in the big city."
Hey, it sounds like us.
What do you say, Joe?
Let's go.
Patti, don't eat like an animal.
That's disgusting.
- All right, shepherd boy.
- I know, but...
You're sitting there
straight out of Holy Land.
Give me the cookie.
It's my day.
You've eaten, like,
the whole of it.
All right, you have
the sweet tooth anyway.
I'm just hungry.
I need a favor.
- Okay.
- Give me your hand.
Aw, come on.
Yeah. Come on.
Aw, you got to be kidding.
No, look.
You'll see when you meet
my mom and my dad.
It's just, if they don't
think we're married...
it'll just be,
you know...
- Here, I got you.
- They're Catholic.
Like, really Catholic.
I'm your family now.
Bless us, O Lord, for these
gifts we are about to receive
from thy bounty, through Christ,
our Lord, amen.
It's so nice to finally
meet you, Patricia.
Can I get you
anything else?
No, thank you,
Mrs. Mapplethorpe.
And please,
call me Patti.
All right, so, tell us
the story of your union.
I mean...
when and where
did you two get married?
Thank you.
Oh, we met in California, Mom.
Right after college.
After you dropped out
of Pratt, right?
Yeah, right after that.
HARRY: Big waste of time and money.
JOAN: Edward, eat your beans.
So, what do you do Patricia...
I'm an artist.
Like Robert.
Have you thought
about children?
HARRY: Children, Joan?
These two can barely
take care of themselves.
Actually, we take pretty good
care of each other...
[cutlery clatters]
Thank you very much.
- Really lovely to meet you.
- Bye, Dad.
Why do we even bother?
He's going to end up a deadbeat,
looking like a girl.
You should tell them
to fuck themselves.
They're my family.
Aw, baby.
[loud music blaring distantly]
[indistinct chatter]
[loose change rattles]
MAN: Okay, five dollars.
- Yeah, this is good.
- Take that.
Is that okay?
Hey! Hey! Hey!
Stop! Stop!
Stop that man!
Hey, motherfucker!
Well, I can't find
I can't find
- Find a way
- Find a way
Find a way, baby
Find a way
Leave that woman
In her place all day
Oh, woman
Oh, baby
I won't stop you now
I'll make it without you
Don't you worry how
Keep on going
Don't look around
Teach you, baby
I'm gonna put you down
[distant traffic ambience]
Shit. Hey.
Don't really know
what I'm doing.
I'm just fucking around,
you know.
They're fascinating.
You think?
But it ain't
paying the rent.
I'm your stepping
- I was your
- Stepping-stone
Step, stepping
- Mr. Stanley Bard?
- Yes.
My name is Patti Smith,
and I'm here
with Robert Mapplethorpe.
- Uh-huh.
- You may not know us yet,
but we're going to be
big stars one day.
Only today we don't
have any money.
take a look for yourself.
Take it all.
For collateral.
Okay. Okay.
Rent's generally due
first of the month.
And I'm going to hold on
to these until you can make it.
Mr. Bard, you will not
regret this.
ROBERT: You got a room?
Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Bard.
- Which one?
- This one.
I did it all for love
I was your stepping-stone
I was your stepping-stone
She's my hard
Little stepping-stone
Step, stepping
- Hey, Patti.
- PATTI: Hmm?
I think I'm going to try
and sell these
so we can get
our work back faster.
I want to try to do
something around, like a cloth.
Yeah. Okay.
Got to go to work.
All right.
Have a good day.
Well, you'll be
A stepping-stone
Step, stepping
Mr. Bard...
so, I have the money.
Can I get my work back, please?
- MAN: Hey, Robert!
- What? Hey!
MAN: You coming by?
Yeah. Five.
- MAN: Cool.
- Excellent.
- MAN 1: Hey, Robert.
- MAN 2: Digging the necklace.
- You look cool, man.
- Peace, man.
[sitar music playing]
Oh, hello.
What do you think?
Whose is it?
It's as if Steichen and Munch
had a prodigal daughter.
It's one of mine.
I think it's cool.
I'm Sandy Daley.
I'm Robert Mapplethorpe.
You're our newest patient, huh?
This is actually a photograph
of me and a former lover.
Inspired by Bellocq.
You know Bellocq?
He was one of the first
great masters.
Wow, that's great.
I love that.
So is that.
He scratched out the face.
I've done that.
You do that?
I'd like to see it.
Yeah, I got some right here.
This one.
- I mean, you know,
it's not...
Oh, yes. I see.
That's better.
SANDY: This is potent imagery.
ROBERT: Thanks.
You really should take
your own pictures.
Why don't you?
Printing. Re-printing.
The dark room.
It takes so much time.
And I can't be just Mapplethorpe
the photographer, you know?
I want magic.
I want to be a modern
And you think if Michelangelo
had a camera,
he wouldn't have used it?
SANDY: Pull that out,
and it's ready to go.
- That's the focus?
- Mm-hmm.
And remember,
it's always about
the light.
Whether you paint it
or shoot it,
you have to find it
or make it.
And that takes talent.
Can I take a picture
of your flowers?
Yes, you can.
- Please.
- All right.
Take the bloody picture.
[camera clicks]
There you go.
Keep it for a while.
You sure?
Cross your legs.
That's good.
Look at me.
Okay, now you lean on him.
Yeah, nice.
Think your worst thought.
Stand there.
Hold back.
No lies I told
I tell no lies
I tell no lies
I can't make a move
without seeing it frozen
five minutes later.
[camera clicks]
[indistinct chatter]
- Thank you, Patti.
- Mm-hmm.
So, look, I made 27 bucks.
I sold three necklaces.
- All right.
- But I kind of want
to keep this one,
because it's cool.
Robert Mapplethorpe,
for all your voodoo needs.
Yeah, well, do me a favor
and cast a spell
on Tinkerbelle over there
who can't stop staring at me.
She loves you.
I love you.
Good, because you're
stuck with me.
Robert. Patti.
- This is David Croland.
- Hey.
Bobby, you never
come see me.
You and Patti-Cake are so...
You're such a Robert hog.
That's me,
just a little piggy.
I adore it.
It's violent.
It's handmade.
- Thank you.
- Truly.
Can you make one for me?
Yeah, if you have
a craving.
PATTI: Shit.
Can I wear these
or are they fucking art?
- [door opens and closes]
- Have fun with your family.
[funky music playing]
[camera clicks]
[camera clicks]
[knock on door]
DAVID: It's David. Anybody home?
What's that?
Open your mouth.
Stick out your tongue.
It's acid.
Mm. Giddyup.
[funky music playing]
Shirt off.
Try that on.
Bow tie.
Pretty boy.
Good boy.
Okay, good boy.
Hold that.
- Okay...
- [camera clicks]
Enough with the nickname,
I'm a real model.
Listen to me...
We're making history here.
[camera clicks]
Let's go down
to Stonewall.
That's real history.
Be nice and quiet for me.
Good boy.
You've been slipping
Into darkness
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Pretty soon you're
Going to pay
Take your cock out.
Hold that.
- [camera clicks]
- Got it.
[moans and pants]
I finally see you.
You're the Prince...
Now you're talking.
...of Darkness.
Wait, no, you're...
you're the Prince of Darkness.
- Robert...
- No.
- Robert, stop it.
- No.
Wait, no, no, no, no.
You're... no, no, no.
DAVID: Robert. God sakes!
ROBERT: No, no, no, no.
No. No.
No, no, no, no, no.
I don't want to.
I don't want to.
I don't want to.
Get away from me.
Get away from me. No.
- Goddamn it. Get away from me.
- Robert...
Get away from me!
You're the fucking devil.
I don't want this.
I don't want this.
- [shushing]
- No!
It's me. It's me.
Hey. Shh.
No, it's just...
beauty and the devil.
Beauty and the devil are
sort of the same thing to me.
And he's always
been with me.
Like, always.
I guess in church
I found God.
And then when Sandy
gave me the Polaroid,
it led me straight
to the devil.
And now, suddenly,
I'm fucking him.
I'm fucking the devil.
I guess you could say I have
a certain Catholic aesthetic.
Let's explore
that ass-thetic.
Oh, no, fuck.
Patti's on her way back.
Patti's coming here.
Patti's not blind, babe.
Surely she knows
that she's got a slippery Jim.
No, she knows nothing, okay?
And that's how
it's going to stay.
- Sure.
- What?
David, what...
You're not leaving.
David. Oh, come on.
I don't mind you playing
everyone for a fool, okay?
But you want a boyfriend,
and a girlfriend,
I want you.
You decide.
Don't leave.
You're going to leave me
when I'm high?
[door opens and closes]
[music throbbing faintly]
[techno music blaring]
[camera clicks]
MAN: Come on!
[loud groaning]
Look, I find myself
wanting to touch them.
And, uh, take...
Take pictures of them.
You can't take
enough pictures of me.
You're the best.
I love taking pictures of you,
of course.
But, it's just...
I can't...
I can't stop myself.
Guess I always knew.
I just...
didn't want to.
Nothing's going to change.
I'm not... I'm not...
I'm not leaving us.
What are you doing?
Hey, Patti,
what are you doing?
You can't leave.
This is... this is our world.
What about Mutt and Jeff,
and Ricky and Lucy?
Ratso and Joe.
What are you doing?
- I'm not leaving that.
- Patti, please.
Stop. Stop.
No, you can't leave...
I'm not leaving the fucking
solar system, Robert.
You are the fucking
solar system!
This is the solar system.
You can't leave.
Yes, I can.
Just get a grip.
Please, no...
But you don't...
If you leave me, then...
I'll become gay.
- I will.
- Well, so be it.
But I got to take care
of myself, okay?
Don't go.
Don't go.
Don't leave me here.
Don't go. Don't go.
Don't go.
- My heart hurts too.
- No...
Patti. Patti!
[Acquavella scoffs]
I don't think so.
- No.
- Okay.
Yeah, well,
thank you for your time.
Robert Mapplethorpe.
- No.
- Okay.
Thank you for your time.
Mr. Liu, this is
Robert Mapplethorpe.
LIU: What are you trying to say?
It's visual art.
It speaks for itself.
I can't sell these,
I'm afraid.
- Why?
- I can't even show them.
- Time to go.
- What do you mean?
These people
are the gatekeepers?
- Look what's on your walls.
- SANDY: Okay, let's go.
Is that moving?
Does that provoke you?
- Does that make you think?
- Mr. Mapplethorpe...
- Okay.
- They're keeping us out.
There's no keeping you out,
- You're on the threshold.
- But they can't see.
- See you on Tuesday.
- Thank you.
Switch sides.
Stop. Move around.
This side.
- Hold that.
- [camera clicks]
More? Thank you.
I was smiling hard
But I was lying
Then you sailed along
Well, it's about
bloody time.
ROBERT: Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your attention.
I really appreciate it.
I'm sorry,
it just doesn't...
You've got shit on the wall
and you don't give a fuck.
- Why do you bring me to these?
- Robert...
I can't even...
David Croland, on your knees,
right where I left you.
Sam. Love.
What are you
getting up to?
I'm good.
Just 19th century, mostly.
Some Sufism.
So, who was the sumptuous storm
cloud that just ran out of here?
That's Robert,
the shy pornographer.
A handful.
He raging because galleries
won't take on his cock photos.
Go figure.
Where is he?
I'll get you
a phone number.
Hi, is this the shy
ROBERT: [on phone]
Uh, that depends.
Who's asking?
I'm a collector.
My friend David
told me about you.
Oh, really?
So, is the sailor
accepting visitors?
Yeah, he is.
Come aboard.
Good. Good.
Where should we meet?
Uh, how about my studio?
33 West 11th.
Yeah, which is at
33 West 11th.
Great. When's good for you?
Friday afternoon, say,
like 3:00.
I will see you then.
Pretty cool.
- It's all happening, Robert.
- Fucking insane.
I'm going to call Maxine
at her studio.
It's all happening.
[funky music playing]
Oh. Hey.
Oh, hi.
I'm Sam. Sam Wagstaff.
I'm Robert.
Nice to meet you.
Thank you.
Nice to meet you, too.
[clears throat]
It kind of flows this way.
- Are these your drawings?
- Yeah, they're all mine.
[Sam laughs]
[man moaning
over funky music]
I like the music.
So, I started
with the drawings,
but actually now I'm more
interested in the Polaroids.
This is you.
Good subject.
You know all these people?
I do.
They must trust you.
They do.
It's fantastic.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
It's good to meet you.
- Thank you for stopping by.
- Yeah.
Let me show you out.
[mechanics whirring]
You know, you don't really
have to escort me
back down to the street.
It's okay.
I have somewhere to be.
[mechanics squeal]
[classical music playing]
Thank you.
You're welcome.
it's time you know
the truth.
I have a lot of lovers.
That's okay.
I'd like you to meet
some of them.
- [laughs]
- Your lovers?
I mean these.
Beautiful, huh?
The Flandrin.
There you are.
- Wow, I like that.
- Yeah?
The Met wants a loan.
ROBERT: I like the shape.
This photograph here,
by Von Gloeden.
It's a replica of the painting
from 1840.
It's one of the few photographs
I own.
How old are you?
I'm 50.
That too old for you?
- No. It's good.
- Yeah?
I'll never know
what it's like to be 50.
How are you so sure
about that?
- I just know.
- Yeah?
Are you scared of dying?
Only before I'm famous.
Well, then,
you better get to work.
So much to do,
so little time.
- Come on.
- Oh, no, let's stay in bed.
- Get up. Come on.
- Please. Please.
- I'll take you to the Met.
- No.
- Let's go. Let's go.
- No.
This place was built
on my family's land.
ROBERT: Wow. I love it here.
This is for you.
Thank you.
- So, are you ready?
- Yeah, I think so.
SAM: Now I believe that these are
some of the oldest photographs
in existence.
- ROBERT: Nadar, right?
- SAM: Yeah.
ROBERT: Yeah, my friend
Sandy told me about him.
Beautiful portraits.
- My God, is that...?
- Look at that.
Is that Sarah Bernhardt?
SAM: Yes, it is.
ROBERT: She looks fantastic.
I can't believe
it's not a painting.
You know?
And there she is,
- Do you collect any?
- No. They're not valuable.
Well, you should.
I think they will be.
No, I think these will be up
on the main floor
with Rodin, Michelangelo,
SAM: Holy shit.
These are gorgeous.
Look at that.
ROBERT: I know. I love that one.
No one's blacks
are blacker than yours.
I swear to God.
Wow, so many new men.
You've become a bit
of a collector yourself.
Should I be concerned?
They're my work.
You're my love.
Well, since you put it
that way.
For you,
my birthday boy.
Apollo 8 used it
to capture the moon.
I thought it's good enough
for my monkey to tell his story
- here on the ground.
- No.
Oh, wow.
- God.
- Oh, one more thing.
Your new live-in studio.
Come here.
You're the nicest person
I ever met.
I don't know about that.
[camera cranks and clicks]
Your work is so raw.
I thought maybe I could
shoot some covers for you.
[Harold laughs]
HAROLD: Well...
Sam certainly likes
to keep me on my toes.
These are, uh...
these are quite something.
Okay, forget it.
Excuse me?
If you knew what
you were looking at,
then you wouldn't act like
such a fucking art-snob fag.
Mr. Mapplethorpe, I know exactly
what I am looking at.
And I am a fucking
art-snob fag.
Yeah, I know.
And I do want them.
Yeah? How much?
- A lot.
- No.
How much are you going
to charge to buy them?
A lot.
[police siren
wailing distantly]
- [elevator rumbles]
- Little brother.
I, um...
[clears throat]
I snuck into the city
because I have to...
I have to write a paper
on my hero, and...
I want to write it
about you.
And I want to study
but Dad's trying
to talk me out of it.
It's cool I'm your hero.
You can write about these.
Yeah, that.
Open it.
- Are your hands clean?
- EDWARD: They're clean.
It's pretty cool.
Yeah, it's my friend's fist
up my friend's ass.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
- [sighs]
- Yeah.
Do me a favor.
Don't tell Mom and Dad about
anything you've seen here today.
Of course.
And can you give them this,
Of course.
And let yourself out, okay?
Okay, bye.
Okay, bye.
Chin up.
I want you to look
directly at the camera.
[camera clicks]
That's going to make a beautiful
portrait, thank you.
These photographs
are exquisite.
- Yes, they are.
- Precise.
Uniquely scintillating.
Thank you.
But I can't put
little Jesse McBride,
Philip Glass
and Arnold Schwarzenegger
next to cocks and chains.
I'd have to pass out Valium
at the door.
Show all of my work
or none of it.
I want to.
You're brilliant.
You're the Jekyll and Hyde
of photography.
But the public won't be able
to handle it all at once, dear.
My clients are only
just beginning to grasp
- that photography is art.
- Yeah, um...
see, Holly, Robert doesn't have
a lot of patience for...
- For anything.
- Yeah...
I have an idea
of how Jekyll and Hyde
can both have their debuts
I'll call you.
You're going to love it.
- Can't wait.
- Yeah.
That's brilliant.
Very clever.
I'll get it out
to the right people.
Get back to work.
Thanks, Sammy.
- ROBERT: Wow.
- SAM: And here we are.
- This is your doing.
- Yeah, a little bit.
You look very smart.
- Okay, go meet the people.
- I love people.
[indistinct chatter]
ROBERT: Yeah, I just
always found them
so beautiful to photograph,
And I want to show you
who you remind me of.
I'm sorry to interrupt.
Excuse me.
- How are you, by the way?
- These are great.
- This is Nick, obviously.
- Oh, wow.
I'm sorry, excuse me.
Larry and Bobby kissing.
And I thought
he was a bit like you.
[both laugh]
He's a dealer.
Of art, not drugs.
Oh, come and see Arnold.
Oh, you decided
to go with flowers.
Well, you know,
easing the public into it
is an art in itself,
So I thought,
sell the public my flowers
and then they can hang them
on their walls
without realizing what
they're embracing.
- WOMAN: Are you thrilled?
- Are you coming to the kitchen?
I am, yes!
I want to see your true
One day they'll be here too.
Thank you.
So, sales?
But he had
to leave it here.
Why's that?
Wife. Kids.
- Hamptons.
- Naturally.
[indistinct chattering]
I appreciate your time.
- Hey, guys.
- So?
Did you meet the people?
Yeah. I think so.
Leo, Lord Warwick,
Peggy G.
Any other musts?
Great. I don't think so.
As a matter of fact,
let's hightail it.
Shall we?
Another group of admirers
awaits you.
- Okay, thank you.
- Bye, darling.
- I appreciate everything.
- Sure.
- SAM: Sell more pictures.
- I will.
[both laughing]
Oh, my God.
Touch of leather, Sammy.
A touch of leather, baby.
Well, I guess there's
a first time for everything.
- We're here. We're here.
- Okay, okay.
[camera shutters click]
[indistinct chatter]
ROBERT: God almighty,
do you like it?
Do you have any money
to buy anything?
You probably do.
Oh, hi. Wow. Look at you.
Oh, look.
Love you. Thank you.
Let it all hang out
But you won't fool
The children
Of the revolution
No, no, no
SAM: What's on your
mind, monkey?
ROBERT: Patti's moving to Detroit.
SAM: Why?
ROBERT: Get married and have children.
SAM: Don't worry, monkey.
New York is Patti's
piss factory.
She'll snap out of it.
You know, the first man
I ever fell in love with
served on my ship
during the invasion of Normandy.
I was an officer.
He was a sailor.
Oh, my God,
he was beautiful.
Just like you.
You do know I love you?
I do.
And I love my old thing.
And I always will.
[woman coughs]
ROBERT: This is Princess Margaret.
She's a friend from Mustique.
How'd you afford
that trip?
A magazine sent me.
This is David Hockney.
- Hockney?
- Yeah, he's a cool guy.
A British artist.
And Princess Devovo.
A princess? From where?
I don't know.
I mean, she doesn't do much
apart from be a princess.
But she takes a good photograph,
I thought.
JOAN: It's pretty.
Anyway, you guys
must be starving.
Shall we get
something to eat?
Yeah. I know a good place,
It's not far.
You don't print
the pictures yourself?
But that's photography.
How can you let
someone else
carry out the most
important part?
Well, that's one element
of photography.
Photography is more
than one element.
It's about light.
It's about composition.
It's about the personality
of the subject.
And I'm an artist.
I would've been a painter,
but the camera was invented.
Thank God.
I just think life moves
too fast now
to spend weeks painting it.
HARRY: Well, you're not
a real photographer
until you know
the technical end.
JOAN: Richard divorced
that Oriental girl.
Harry, how do you
say her name?
What does it matter?
JOAN: I had to quit
the bowling league.
Oh, that's a shame.
I just get too tired.
That's too bad.
Your mother was good.
I liked your show.
Thank you.
I like my flowers.
They're beautiful.
[Robert laughs]
ROBERT: Okay. Fine.
Do you want that?
Go steady, now.
What are you staring at?
You don't like it?
Uh, I don't know, Robert.
It doesn't really
look like me.
It's not your look I'm taking.
It's you.
You're dirty. It's hot.
Look at that.
JACK: Whatever you say, man.
ROBERT: All these art snobs
think they're so cutting edge.
I take out my portfolio
and I show them the bullwhip
up my ass.
If they blink
or they look away,
then they just
can't handle it,
because they're not so fucking
cutting edge after all.
[all laugh]
- You know?
- JACK: You got that right.
I call it, "Playing chicken
with the avant-garde."
It's my favorite pastime.
JACK: It's a game
the whole family can play.
You're making me laugh so hard
I got to pee.
ROBERT: Take a piss here
and I'll take pictures of you.
Actually, put your cock
in that champagne glass.
Hold that.
[camera clicks]
You know, McNenny, people think
that you just deal me flowers.
Good boy.
Wait, wait, wait.
Hold on.
Yeah, let's take
some more pictures.
- GONZALO: All right.
- Take off your clothes, guys.
Try it out
[elevator rumbles]
[door opens]
[keys jiggle]
SAM: You up, superstar?
I just got a call
from the New York Times.
They want a quote from me
about the dual shows.
ROBERT: Sammy's here.
Come join us, Sammy.
Come play.
It's a little
sex and magic.
Are you mad? Sam...
Come on, you know, this is...
This is...
this is just how I live.
But it doesn't mean
that I don't...
I don't love you.
Yeah, I love you too, monkey.
Jesus, I wanted
to taste this life.
But I'm full, Robert.
And you should be too.
Sammy, Sammy...
- [keys jiggle]
- Here.
We'll talk.
[door closes]
[elevator rumbles]
[shouting on TV]
It's Robert.
Pick up the phone,
I'm not going to wreck
your perfect life.
Okay. Call me back.
Call me back.
Call me right fucking back.
Call me fucking back.
Hey, excuse me.
My name is
Robert Mapplethorpe.
I'm a photographer.
I'd love to take
your photograph.
You have the most
striking look.
I wondered if you'd ever
thought about modeling.
- Mm-hmm.
- Man, you walking...
You scared the shit
out of me.
You look so fantastic.
I could help you
make a portfolio.
And when do you want
to do that?
- Now. Right now?
- Right now?
I mean...
all right.
What's your name?
- Milton.
- Milton?
Yeah. You said Robert, right?
That's me, yeah.
That's perfect.
Eyes down.
How about you take off
those pants?
I can't be doing that,
out of respect
to my family.
Can I at least see it?
That's the most beautiful thing
I've ever seen.
What if I promise never to show
your cock and your face
in the same frame?
Yeah, that's okay.
Wait there. Just...
put your right leg out.
Turn your body
to your right.
[camera clicks]
I think I'm in love.
- MILTON: I got to go.
You're perfect.
I'm going to take care of you.
TINA: Robert? Ed's here.
TINA: The meeting your mother
wanted me to set up.
He's here.
You want me
to look at this?
Thank you.
Sit down.
Of course, I'm...
I'm still learning, but...
some of them are good,
They're all good.
Just, look, I don't...
I don't particularly want
my kid brother
working for me.
But Dad kicked me
out for wanting to take pictures
for a living.
Like you.
- So...
- Dad. Dad.
Look, Edward,
only when you cut him off
are you going to be able to make
the steps that you need to make
to do something great
with your life.
I barely even know you, so...
I don't want any connection
to our family.
You know, you just...
you got to leave all of that
stuff out of here, okay?
Of course.
- Do you understand that?
- I understand.
All right.
What time's
the next shoot?
TINA: Twelve o'clock, Robert.
What time is it now?
TINA: Just after 11:00.
Want to do some cocaine?
Straight from God.
Come on.
- [coughs]
- There you go.
- [laughs]
- [coughing]
[sniffing and snorting]
Okay, let's see.
Oh, yeah. I love it.
Yeah, this one.
Burn it a little.
TOM: I don't know, man.
ROBERT: It's brilliant,
don't you think?
Aw, come on.
Yeah, the only thing you need to
know is where the darkroom is.
You come in, get the film,
go print, and you go home.
- Okay?
- [sighs]
Crop it.
Take off his head.
It's stronger without it.
[camera clicks and cranks]
Can you define it?
A guy who chooses art pieces
for other folks to check out.
Ugh! Where's Edward?
I think we need to get
your English teacher to focus
on the language
of the arts.
This isn't... I don't know
what's going on here.
I can't... you know,
it's this thing here.
Here we are.
Look at you.
You look so innocent.
You're my beautiful
black boy.
I'm going to put it
back in.
You're going
to do great.
- [camera clicks]
- Bingo.
Yeah. Playboy.
Yeah. Yeah.
Can I stick my finger
in your ass?
Who's a good boy?
Wrap it over your shoulders.
Like that.
I just... I don't know.
I can't see the frame.
I can't see
the fucking frame.
Sorry, Lisa.
Just give me...
I just need a moment.
Chin up.
[coughs and retches]
No time for this.
It's so empty in here.
Why? Why?
Why did you sell your
photography collection, Sammy?
SAM: Sentimentality is
the kiss of death in art.
You know that.
It's too much stuff.
Let somebody else
take care of it.
Besides, I'm really
enjoying this.
I can shine
these spots away.
Gives me a little hope.
Only $500.
For everything.
All these pieces.
It's unbelievable.
I bet you this
is the next big thing.
I've got it, by the way.
- How do you know?
- I know.
I'm just waiting
for the test results.
- That doesn't mean that you...
- Oh, Robert. Robert.
I wake up every night
covered in sweat.
Well, so open
your fucking window.
It has arrived.
Have you been tested?
Monkey, please.
I won't.
Your photos are quickly becoming
a gallery of the dead.
[paper rustling and ripping]
What... what are you...
What are you doing?
Milton, what's wrong?
Whoa, whoa, take it ea...
What are you doing?
Milton, stop it.
Stop it.
What are you doing?
I love you.
Love me?
- Yeah.
- You don't love me.
You don't love anyone.
You love yourself.
And how you make people
do shit.
You make me do shit.
Read crap I don't get.
Take it easy.
And you call me nigger in bed.
Milton, come on,
that's just a tease.
It's not meant
as an insult.
I thought...
I thought you liked...
Poor nigger who poses
like a nude piece a black meat
for his pansy boyfriend.
- Fuck you!
- Whoa, take it easy.
Okay, Milton, I was trying
to enlighten you.
To celebrate you.
To celebrate your strength.
To celebrate your beautiful
black flesh.
I'm not one of your white boy,
stuck-up sculptures.
And I sure enough
ain't nobody's nigger.
All right. Milton...
Milton, you have been
the subject
of some of my best work.
You are the star.
- Milton.
- You took pictures of my dick
sticking out of my pants.
Because it's gorgeous.
You picked the wrong poor
black boy for your collection.
Don't go.
Where are you
going to go?
Come on, I need you.
- You got everything you need.
- No.
- I need money.
- No, Milton. Please.
Well, you know
where it is.
Look, let's talk.
[glass tinkling]
What do you guys think?
That one.
ROBERT: Yeah, that's amazing, Sam.
Another $25,000.
My biggest sale yet.
Dead man walking.
Who knew my stock would rise
with every pound I lose?
What are... what are these
doing here?
I thought you might
take a look at them.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
Why? You don't need my opinion.
You've got my moves down.
Hey, that's not
what I'm trying to do.
Plus, you're
the technical expert.
Yeah, but, I...
I want your opinion
about the art.
Because you're my brother,
and because, well, you're better
at this than I am.
Yeah, well, you know,
I actually have no idea
how my pictures
look so good.
It's not something
I can just pass on to you.
Well, can you at least tell me
which ones you like the best?
I have to pick one
for the group show.
Next month.
The one you're in, too.
So if we're going
to continue working together,
you got to change
your last name.
I have made
Mapplethorpe a name
through my hard work
over the years.
I mean, it just...
here, how about...
Mom's maiden name.
Yeah. Look at that.
It sounds sexy.
Use it.
Look, I'm sorry, Edward.
I feel like I've done
a lot for you.
But I've got
to draw the line.
You can't just keep
riding on my coattails.
This batch here needs
your technical expertise.
I'm going out.
EDWARD: You can't keep
doing this, Robert.
ROBERT: Doing what?
Don't you care
about spreading it?
Well, you know,
that's up to them, not me.
I can't cheat death,
but I can cheat life,
which I won't.
- Robert...
- We're born and die alone.
- Robert, you're not alone.
Spend our lives
pretending we're not.
If I have to change
the way I live,
then I'd rather not at all,
Hey, I'm just paying my dues.
He's not letting
any of us off easy.
Technical expertise, Edward.
EDWARD: Robert!
- [billiard balls clack]
- [funky music playing]
Look at them.
They're just superior.
Smooth, you know?
Muscular shoulders.
Excuse me.
Let's see.
Take a shot.
[billiard balls clack]
I'm not that great at this.
Come on, let's go.
- Where?
- My place.
Let's go.
ROBERT: Hug your
knees closer to you.
A bit tighter.
Hug them more.
That's good.
Now hold that.
Chin up.
Thank you. Stop.
[camera clicks]
Got it. Thank you.
Well done.
Thank you.
Jesus Christ.
I mean, thank God
that is over.
So, I'm going to go out.
But I can drop you
at the hotel
and then I'll meet you
at the airport in the morning.
I'm not coming, Robert.
What, you don't
need a ride?
No, I mean, I'm not coming
to New York.
I've thought about it a lot,
and I need to...
I need to have my own career,
So I'm heading down
to Los Angeles.
All right, what?
You're my assistant.
That's your career.
You owe me.
I gave you a life.
No, I don't owe you.
I've given you
everything I have.
- Oh, well thank you.
- Robert, I have this much.
This much.
I need to start
my own life
as Edward Maxey.
- Yeah.
- Hmm?
- Edward Maxey.
- Well, good luck with that.
Whatever delusions
of grandeur you have,
you're an assistant.
Get in the car.
Come here.
I've had three great loves
in my life.
My mom.
And you.
I hope not in that order.
[laughs weakly]
And now for your update
on Things About Town.
Mapplethorpe Mania
has arrived in New York
in the form of a retrospective
exhibition that opens July 28th
at the Whitney Museum
of American Art.
Bravo, Martin.
These are the deepest blacks
I have ever seen.
MARTIN: Someone came by yesterday
and they thought these two
were paintings.
I know.
Well, that's the idea.
And your canvas
seals the deal.
You're going to be famous
for this.
They are the holy grail
of platinum printing.
Now, let's wrap
Thomas and Dovanna
in white silk.
Regal, you know?
So everybody
knows to worship.
And let's wrap Donald
in rich red silk.
And we got to have a cock
in the show.
I mean, people will be expecting
some cock.
[coughs and hacks]
Thank you.
Thank you, Martin.
Amazing work.
I mean, look.
Can you make your legs into a V?
Yeah. Hold that.
Okay, could you just
dip your neck.
Maybe try putting your arms
straight out
in front of you.
Perfect. Hold that.
Ha! It's my baby brother.
We're just photographing
this beautiful bronze sculpture.
Robert, I thought
about what you said.
Oh, Edward, meet Javier.
He's my new assistant.
He was just a Spanish
street urchin,
but he's very ambitious,
and he's learning fast.
- Hi.
- Mucho gusto.
Oh, yeah, he doesn't speak
much English.
But he's got a dictionary,
so it shouldn't take you long
to train him.
You know what, Ken?
Can I photograph you
by the dining room, please?
Okay, can you make sure
you put this
with the whole
Wasting series.
[coughs and hacks]
It'll be valuable
when I'm gone.
Oh, my...
Father Stack.
You're a long way
from Floral Park.
I'm glad to see you.
Do they speak to you?
- [coughs]
- Well...
it's a battle between
good and evil.
Are you here for my confession,
Your mother
asked me to come.
She's worried about you.
How is she?
Not very well.
Her emphysema
has really worsened.
Sit down. Please.
[Robert coughs]
do you believe in God?
What gives you solace?
Knowing that I've captured
those things in my work.
Knowing that my work
will outlive me.
It'll still be there
when I'm gone.
And you have...
Thank you.
That's what I see.
Even that which we deem obscene,
you make look more beautiful
than I thought possible.
I wonder what it's like
to be your subject.
My subject?
I remember my first
communion with you.
- Can you remember that?
- I remember that.
- Yes.
- [laughs] Oh, perfect.
- Thank you, Father.
- You're a rascal.
- I remember that.
- [laughs]
- [camera clicks]
- Did I blink? Sorry.
Oh, you look absolutely
heavenly, Father.
And if you could just
look off to my left, please.
Just a touch.
The devil is in all of us,
I wonder where he is in you.
[camera clicks]
I think we got it.
[crowd shouting]
WOMAN: Robert! I love you!
Thank you
for coming.
The first time I came
to this museum,
they wouldn't let me in
because I didn't have a buck.
But I always remember
these lights.
- JANET: Robert.
- Hello.
I'm curating
the ICA exhibition,
and I wanted
to follow up with you
on my idea of a traveling
exhibition of your work.
- Oh.
- So, the entire range
of your work would
be represented at once.
From your most
hard-core imagery,
to the most delicate flowers.
They are delicate,
but not sweet.
They're New York flowers.
[clears throat]
They have a black edge to them.
So we'll open
in Philadelphia,
and then it'll be Chicago,
Washington, D.C.,
and finally, Cincinnati.
Poor Cincinnati.
Impossible to spell,
and starts with the word "Cin."
Well, that sounds, yeah,
very interesting.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- I'll be in touch with you.
- All right.
Have I met her?
Thought so.
Oh, what I would give
for a hot dog.
Oh, Robert, I don't know
if that's a good idea.
Come on.
Like the old days.
You haven't eaten solid food
in months.
Roman, would you mind
stopping the car, please?
No. Yeah, I got it.
I'm all right.
It's all right.
I'm all right.
I'm all right.
You got it?
- Got it?
- I got it.
- Do you got it?
- [laughs]
I'm all right.
I'm all right.
- I'll be right back.
- All right.
- All right.
- Thanks.
Hot dog.
- You got it?
- Yeah.
Don't crash
So good.
Hey, Angel.
Come on, Soakie.
It's okay.
It's going to be okay.
What is that?
It appeared when my son
was born.
You're getting old.
I told my parents,
remember, we...
we got married in a...
in a strawberry field
in California.
- And we were.
- Yeah.
Anything you dreamed
was real.
[door opens]
Those are ugly.
You can toss them.
Don't you want to know
who they're from first?
Not really.
Okay, it says...
I thought Mom was sick? No?
EDWARD: She is.
What, do you think Dad
sent these?
EDWARD: He must have.
NURSE: Want to keep them?
Yeah. It's like the nicest thing
he's ever done for me.
Thank you.
[door closes]
Who knew Dad had such
terrible taste in flowers?
Where do you want them?
Sorry for the mix-up.
The flowers are for the patient
across the hall.
I'm sorry.
[Robert hacks and coughs]
Hey. Hey.
Edward, I'm scared.
I know.
How was the show?
It was good.
Did you sell anything?
A few.
Told you, you don't need
to be a Mapplethorpe.
You can make it on your own,
Can I see your work?
Okay. All right.
I think...
you'll really
appreciate this.
ROBERT: Sammy.
Take the picture.
[camera clicks]
I was dancing
When I was 12
I was dancing
When I was 12
I was dancing
When I was out
I was dancing
When I was out
I danced myself
Right out the womb
I danced myself
Right out the womb
Is it strange
To dance so soon?
I danced myself
Right out the womb
I was dancing
When I was 8
I was dancing
When I was 8
Is it strange
To dance so late?
Is it strange
To dance so late?
Oh, oh-oh
I danced myself
Into the tomb
I danced myself
Into the tomb
Is it strange
To dance so soon?
I danced myself
Into the tomb
Oh, oh-oh
["I'maman" by Jobriath plays]
I'm a man
So I'm an elegant man
I'm a man
Clara Bows
And open toes
Are what I am
Yes, I'm a man
I'm a fragile man
I'm a man
Light of step
And soft of touch
A gentle man
You know
I could love you
But if I should love you
Then I
I would love
The way a man
Loves a woman
And live my life
Like I've been living it
My body claims
My mind and soul
So let me be
What I am
An elegant man
Yes, I'm a man
So I'm an elegant man
I'm a man
Pierrots And
spacious clothes
Are what I am
You know
I could love you
But if I should love you
Then I
I would love
The way a man
Loves a woman
And live my life
Like I've been living it
My body claims
My mind and soul
So let me be
What I am
An elegant man
Yes, I'm a man
So I'm an elegant man
I'm a man
And spacious clothes
Are what I am
You know
I could love you
But if I should love you
Then I
I would love
The way a man
Loves a woman
And live my life
Like I've been living it
My body claims
My mind and soul
So let me be
What I am
An elegant man
Yes, I'm a man
And I love you
Because I'm a man
I could love you
Because I'm a man
And I know
That I love you
Love you, love you
Love you, love you
Love you
Love you, oh
Love you, oh
Love you
I'm a man