Stopover In The Cinemart World…
…One Life At A Time
Cinephiles and art connoisseurs, be on the alert: this post may contain dangerous material likely to cause extreme emotions to people who love movies and art.
For more information, keep reading and enjoy our list of “5 Can’t-Miss Art Movies About The Lives Of Artists.”
“AT ETERNITY’S GATE” (2018)
Willem Dafoe and Oscar Isaacs play Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin in Julian Schnabel’s visionary masterpiece about the last, troubled years of the Dutch painter’s life. The movie had its world premiere at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival – where Defoe won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor – and since its release in theatres worldwide, it has received positive reviews from both experts and amateurs.
It’s not a traditional biopic, nor the story of a friendship, nor the story of a death; it’s the depiction – in brightly colored images and through dynamic over the shoulder shots – of Van Gogh’s emotional condition at the moment of the parting from a friend, at the moment of a rash action, at the moment of creation. Schnabel (“Basquiat,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”) doesn’t tell you everything about Van Gogh, but he offers fascinating insights into his troubled mental state, conceiving a deliberately paced movie that will leave you in a contemplative state.
“GENIUS: PICASSO” (2018)
Warning! This is not a feature film, but the second season of an acclaimed TV series, broadcast on the National Geographic channel, that explores the lives of remarkable historical figures. The Emmy and Golden Globe nominee season one is produced by Ron Howard and follows the life of Albert Einstein (played by Geoffrey Rush); in 2018 a second season was released, this time about painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso. Developed by Kenneth Biller (“X-Files,” “Star Trek”) and starring Antonio Banderas as Picasso, the ten-episodes biography explores not only the genius, but also the demons, of the Spanish painter: a series of flashbacks and time jumps allows us to get to know about the most significant episodes of Picasso’s youth and adulthood, in a heartfelt homage to one of the XX century most influent artist.
“FINAL PORTRAIT” (2017)
Written and directed by Stanely Tucci (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Spotlight”), the movie explores the troubled personality and chaotic artistic process of the Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush), through the eyes of the American writer and art-lover James Lord (Armie Hammer). In 1964, while on a short trip to Paris, Lord is asked by his friend Giacometti to sit for a portrait that is supposed to take only a few days. However, the process turns out to be longer than expected and much more full of implications. Rush and Hammer brilliantly portrait, respectively, one of the most eclectic, revolutionary and cynical artists of the last century’s history, and his fellow writer, who would have been not only the subject of one of Giacometti’s most famous paintings but also author of his critically acclaimed biography.
Biopic drama film directed by Julie Taymor (“Across The Universe,” “The Tempest”), “Frida” was adapted from the book “Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo” by Hayden Herrera and released worldwide in 2002, with its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. A star-studded cast (Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas, Edward Norton) portrait the bunch of remarkable people who made the Mexican painter’s life so eventful and worth telling: Salma Hayek is Frida Kahlo, one of the strongest personalities in recorded history, who fought against paralysis and physical pain her whole life in order to continue painting, supporting women’s emancipation and loving the muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) to the limits of obsession. Winner of two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Makeup, the movie is worth seeing not only to learn more about the Mexican painter, but also to take a look to some of her most famous and powerful artworks. About that, here’s a little trivia for the curious: rumors has it that some of the paintings shown in the film were painted by Salma Hayek herself!
Written and directed by Mike Davis and starring Andy Garcia (“The Godfather Part III,” “Ocean’s Eleven”) in the role of Amedeo Modigliani, the movie focuses on the Italian artist’s lifetime rivalry with his fellow Pablo Picasso (Omid Djalili) and on the bitter-sweet relationship with his muse Jeanne Hebuterne (Elsa Zylberstein). Set in1919 in Paris, where “Modì” – as the French called him – spent most of his existence, the movie tells an uncensored story of the development of an unstable personality, that of the alcoholic, self-destructive, but still very fascinating painter and sculptor famous for his portraits of long-necked ladies and for his unique style, one that cannot be categorized with those of other artists. Warning: the movie contains several historical errors, but it still remains an intense and inspiring depiction of the tragic life and end of one of the most original “cursed artists” in the history of modern art.
Just on a side note, there are a few extra little gems for all committed cinem-art lovers to watch: “Basquiat,” Julian Schnabel’s 1996 biopic about the troubled life of New York street artist Jean Michel Basquiat, starring Jeffrey Wright as the lead role and other masters the likes of David Bowie, Benicio del Toro, Gary Oldman and Willem Dafoe; “Goya’s Ghosts,” (2007) a movie about the Spanish Inquisition’s last years, lived through the eyes of the great Spanish painter Francisco Goya, directed by Milos Forman and starring Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman; “Loving Vincent,” the story of Van Gogh’s mysterious death and investigation about why he came to be shot, beautifully told via depictions of his artworks, directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, with Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn and Saoirse Ronan, released in 2017 as the world’s first feature-length painted animation; “Pollock,” (2000) about the last two years of the American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock’s life and career and his addiction to alcohol and adultery, directed by Ed Harris and starring Harris himself as Pollock, Robert Knott and the Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden.
Enjoy your bellyful of art movies, everyone!