This film portrays a painter who died in 1992 but whose reputation is still growing. As we get further from the Abstract Expressionist period and the macho myths that defined it, we are able to see more clearly the merits of some of the painters who were outside the canon. Joan Mitchell moved to France in the 1960's, and she continued to develop her art outside the New York hothouse. Some of her greatest work came towards the end of her life in the 1980's and 90's, and we see that here. Her best paintings, such as the Grande Vallee series, rank with the work of people like Kline, de Kooning, and Sam Francis.
She is not an easy interview, though. The film shows her evasiveness and unwillingness to be pinned down on art or her private life, which was tumultuous and fraught with drinking and disappointment. Yet somehow she was able to channel the pain and difficulty into creating very great art, and this video is a fine introduction.