Art For Teachers Of Children

An alternate title for this provocative autobiographical black-and-white independent feature (1995) by Bard College graduate Jennifer Montgomery might be Therapy for Underage Lovers of Artists. The plot concerns a 14-year-old girl at a boarding school who has an affair with her dorm counselor, a married photographer in his 30s who likes to take pictures of students in the nude. The affair is recalled years later when the FBI begins investigating the photographer on child-pornography charges. Despite some uncertainty in many of the performances, this is a fairly honest examination of a difficult subject that occasionally smacks of self-indulgent psychodrama with traces of exhibitionism; Montogomery herself narrates in the first person, and her mother plays the heroine’s mother, who’s offscreen in various phone calls. The mother comes up with the film’s best line about the damage caused by bad artists, though what she (or the film) means by good art isn’t clear. With Caitlin Grace McDonnell and Duncan Hannah. 82 min. (JR)

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