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Josh Hurst

Films about art and art-making.

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Recently I've been thinking a little bit about art within art, so to speak-- specifically, movies that explore issues pertaining to the power, the importance, and the nature of art and art-making.

So, in this thread, list movies that, in some way, explore these ideas. It doesn't have to be the main focus of the film, just so long as it's in there somewhere.

A few off the top of my head:

Amadeus

Three Colors: Blue

The Story of the Weeping Camel

Babette's Feast

Almost Famous

The Pianist

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Ever noticed how many films are about writers? Given that films are written by writers, I suppose this shouldn't be surprising, but still ... smile.gif

Stephen King stories are especially prone to this -- The Shining, Misery, Stand By Me, Secret Window and probably others all revolve around writer protagonists.

Turning to painting, the first example that comes to my mind is, of all things, the Martin Scorsese segment in New York Stories, which stars Nick Nolte I believe.

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MattPage   

Not to mention Barton Fink

I suppose Pollock and Girl With the Pearl Earring are too obvious to mention?

Matt

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Shantih   
Ever noticed how many films are about writers?  Given that films are written by writers, I suppose this shouldn't be surprising, but still ...  smile.gif

Yeah, it's the ever reliable movie shorthand for a brilliant isolationist!

Thinking of some examples where the writer's art is really the crux of the film:

Julia

Sophie's Choice

Adaptation

Swimming Pool

Iris

And, of course because I can't go a thread without mentionning it, Mansfield Park

My favourite commentary on writing, ever, though, is the Jose Chung's Doomsday Defence episode of Millennium

"This is how it will all end: not with floods, earthquakes, falling comets or gigantic crabs roaming the earth. No, doomsday will start simply out of indifference. I'm sorry, I'm a little bitter because NOBODY CAME FOR ME TO SIGN MY FREAKING BOOKS!"

Phil.

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The best ever on art within art: Mohsen Makhmalbaf's A Moment of Innocence/The Bread and the Vase/Bread and Flowers/Nun va Goldoon/whatever you want to call it.

Dale

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DanBuck   

I believe both:

Waiting for Guffman

and

A Mighty Wind would fit nicely.

Both good studies on the artist personality.

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DanBuck   

Another obvious one, but with some great insight on making theatre happen:

Shakespeare in Love

Oh and...

Noises Off and Deathtrap

Bullets over Broadway

Frida

and some weird flick with Leo DiCap and the creepy guy from the Island of Dr. Moreau.

Which reminds me of The Basketball Diaries

Oooh, ooh Moulin Rouge and while I'm thinking of Broadbent Topsy Turvy.

Andre Rublyov

The Red Shoes

All About Eve

Nashville

F for Fake

All that Jazz

Dancer in the Dark

Wonder Boys

La Double vie de V

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How about The Iron Giant, for its emphasis on how art affects character? (The Giant and the comic books...)

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Shantih   
and some weird flick with Leo DiCap and the creepy guy from the Island of Dr. Moreau.

That would be Total Eclipse. Never seen it but was notable for its re-release post Titanic bearing a sticker claiming "Leo's most REVEALING performance" which was several times bigger than the title of the film itself. Now there's a sign of sophistication.

Phil.

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DanBuck   
and some weird flick with Leo DiCap and the creepy guy from the Island of Dr. Moreau.

That would be Total Eclipse. Never seen it but was notable for its re-release post Titanic bearing a sticker claiming "Leo's most REVEALING performance" which was several times bigger than the title of the film itself. Now there's a sign of sophistication.

Phil.

Yeah, his character is gay in the performance. And maybe a butt shot. Which is what they were trying to say on that sticker.

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I echo the praise for La Belle Noiseuse! Accept nothing less than the full, director's version of the film.

Must-see docs on artmaking:

Stone Reader

Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working in Time

The Five Obstructions

Vincent

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MattPage   

: And maybe a butt shot. Which is what they were trying to say on that sticker.

: La Belle Noiseuse is amazing.

Did no-one else find the juxtaposition of these two posts very funny? Ah the diversity of A&F

Matt

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gigi   

Bad Education

8 1/2

Scorsese's chapter of New York Stories

My Architect (kinda... docu.)

Lots of films about musicians - Jazz Singer, Byrd, Ray, Hilary and Jackie... the list of biopics in this category is endless.

Edited by gigi

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Ron Reed   

The Agony & The Ecstasy

Vincent & Theo

Lust For Life

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gigi   

I watched Chihwaseon last night (also known as Drunk on Women & Poetry, or Painted Fire) which is a Korean film about the painter Jang Seung-up.

I have to say I was a little blase as I rented it from my work library which doesn't charge me, and as the cover was entirely in Korean I had no idea what it was about. However, it is an incredible movie which captures the artist's relationship with nature wonderfully. The cinematography is stunning, really simple, really effective. After roaming IMDB for more info, I found out that the director has done loads of movies and he actually won best director at Cannes for this film, and I think cinematography (from what I can make out from the taiwanese dvd cover). If it wasn't a short loan item, I'd still have it and watch it again. Will definitely be renting it again and I highly recomend it to anyone.

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Recently I've been thinking a little bit about art within art, so to speak-- specifically, movies that explore issues pertaining to the power, the importance, and the nature of art and art-making.

Doc opening in L.A. this weekend (already played in Philly and NY, I think) is In a Dream about Isaiah Zagar who has put mosaics on several Philadelphia buildings - ground to roof.

Edited by Darrel Manson

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Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control

Seraphine

Playtime

Summer Hours

My Kid Could Paint That

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