Velvet Buzzsaw is a stab at the art world from the creative team that brought you Nightcrawler.
Throughout this video, I’ll be discussing everything that you need to know about the movie and it’s ending.
This picture perfect brush with death breakdown will contain spoilers so if you don’t want to know anything about the movie then I highly suggest that you turn off now.
For everyone else, I’m Deffinition and welcome to the channel where I watch it so you don’t have to!
Velvet Buzzsaw Plot Synposis
After an outstanding animated intro, we follow Morf Vanderwalt, an art critic with a taste for pieces as snazzy as his name. He is fascinated by an interactive item called the Sphere that attempts to touch upon the sense of desire, fear, sex and more, tapping into the onlookers psyche in certain ways that showcases their true inner self. This ties into the overall narrative of the film in which the majority of the pieces that eventually end up attacking those of the artworld in ironic ways that showcase the darkest parts of themselves.
In the film, the art world is described as a safari that is just open to find the next thing and eat it and this definitely reflects in the works that end up hunting down those that become attached to the pieces.
Anyway, after the girl that Morf is having an affair with, Josephina – who is on the rebound from her cheating ex, discovers her neighbour has committed suicide, the outstanding pieces that are discovered within his apartment really set the art world on fire in more ways than one.
The Death Of The Author
Artists work normally go up in value after their death as was in the case of Van Gogh and Josephina’s neighbour, Vetril Dease, is no different. The artist literally put his blood, sweat and tears into the pieces and in his death, he ends up haunting them. Vetril was abused as a child and tried to burn his family in their home due to this.
This of course is mirrored in the work that he attempted to burn before his death and showcases that he was trying to rid the world of pure evil. Throughout the film, Vertril’s ghost tries to burn his work at every opportunity but this is foiled several times.
His work finds the appreciation that he never got in life and is put on display for the world to see. Josephine, fearing for her job and future in the art industry decides to greedily claim the artist as her client and says it is merely something she found in the dumpster. Through the desire to display the work, greed and pressure from her peers they go on display.
Murder Of The Many
After this the deaths come thick and fast. A staff member who is accused of groping women is grabbed by a bunch of ravenous monkeys, a snobby art agent is hanged much in the same way he hangs his pieces, and a woman who wants to strong arm galleries into displaying her pieces gets hers well…cut off.
Hilariously the last death is so ambiguous that many think it’s part of the collection. In addition to this Morf is put into a room where he begins to criticise himself and this causes him to break down. It becomes clear that something is out to get the art curators that now goes far beyond the Dease works.
Morf attempts to write a piece that exposes this, however, Josephina and her boss, Rhedora, pre-empt this and sell as much Dease as they can before bad word gets out.
The Final Scenes
Morf releases the article and this puts him into conflict with Josephina but that doesn’t stop the work from hunting those who attempted to profit from it. From Rhedora’s assistant, Coco, Morf learns that Rhedora has been getting advanced warnings on his positive reviews before they are printed so that she can buy the work before their release and sell it at a higher price.
In the meantime, Josephina is blocked from returning home by a car and goes to wait in the Gallery where we discover that Morf is attempting to get rid of the work. Morf is killed by a mechanical robot on crutches and Josephina is swarmed by paint, leaking into her eyeballs, veins and more before she is permanently imprisoned in a graffiti piece that means she will always be with her recently departed lover.
Rhedora, pre-emptive as always, attempts to get rid of the pieces before they can get her. However, it is too little too late and the titular velvet buzzsaw tatto on her neck spins up, killing her in the process. In the end we see Dease’s work being sold to the massess on street corners by the homeless which of course ties into the homelss exhibit from earlier in the film.
Velvet Buzzsaw: Ending Explained
Ultimately there is a lot to take from this. Those that attempted to profit from dease’s death ultimately ended up facing horrific one’s themselves and this is as much a story about materialism as it is a horror. The things you own ultimately end up owning you and what you put out into the world will ultimately come back to haunt you in more ways than one.
We see John Malkovich’s character gleefully drawing circles in the sand at the end because he believed that art was for expression and not profit. Similar to this, Josephina’s final boyfriend felt this and neither were effected by the paintings.
All those who ended up dead were trying to profit from the work rather than allow it to be seen so we can imagine that the pieces at the end will not go on to kill their owners. This to me is confirmed by the sunset which is shown and is clearly a lot more of a happier piece from Dease, perhaps symbolising that his work has now transformed into beauty instead of death and despair.
I did have fun with the film and it really hammered home to me that art should be for everyone rather than just those who deem it their property.
So what were your thoughts on Velvet Buzzsaw and what did you take from it’s ending? Put yourself in the frame and leave a comment below to let me know!