Thursday, December 20, 2007

A night at the movies

Time to kill? Get down to your local video store or onto Amazon and do an actors-as-artists film festival. Top picks:

Chic flics
Frida. Directed by Julie Taymor
Salma Hayek has the monobrow and director Julie Taymor (Titus and Lion King) is more than up to the visuals. Also features Antonio Banderas, Edward Norton and, inevitably, Geoffrey Rush.

Girl With a Pearl Earring. Directed by Peter Webber
Wow, Scarlett Johansson looks just like the girl in the Vermeer painting.

Fur - An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. Directed by Steven Shainberg
Nichol Kidman as photographer Diane Arbus and Robert Downey, Jr. as the hairy guy.

Man alone
The Agony and the Ecstasy. Directed by Carol Reed
Charlton Heston is Michelangelo.

Goya in Bordeaux. Directed by Carlos Saura
The sort of movie that film buffs say “rewards patience”.

Rembrandt. Directed by Alexander Korda
Charles Laughton. Amsterdam. 1642.

Camille Claudel. Directed by Bruno Nuytten
Isabelle Adjani plays the women who sacrifices her own talent for her man’s art. This time it’s Rodin (Depardieu).

La Belle Noiseuse. Directed by Jacques Rivette
Michel Piccoli is Edouard Frenhofer. The movie is inspired by the Balzac short story The Unknown Masterpiece.

Pollock. Directed by Ed Harris
Wow, Ed Harris looks just like Jackson Pollock.

. Directed by Mick Davis
Andy Garcia is the painter. Unfortunately the memorable line, “Open the door Modi” from the 60s version has been dropped.

Sirens. Directed by John Duigan
Sam Neill is Australian artist Norman Lindsay, Hugh Grant is a minister and Elle MacPherson undresses. One critic described it as "sexy fun".

Andrei Rublev. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
205 minutes worth of the famous Russian Icon painter.

Gallery capers
Junebug. Directed by Phil Morrison
The movie about an art gallery owner meeting an outsider artist where you get to see Alessandro Nivola semi-naked and singing.

New York Stories. Directed by Martin Scorsese et al
Nick Nolte plays a middle aged painter called Lionel in The Scorsese segment.

Basquiat. Directed by Julian Schnabel
Jeffrey Wright is brilliant, David Bowie is Warhol and featuring the best after exhibition dinner ever filmed.

The art scene
Moulin Rouge. Directed by John Huston
Jose Ferrer sensibly stays seated most of the time as he plays the diminutive Lautrec. The movie got two Academy Awards, so be warned.

Great Expectations. Directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n
Dickens’ Pip is transformed to Finn the New York SoHo artist. Clemente supplies the art.

I Shot Andy Warhol. Directed by Mary Harron
Lili Taylor’s Valerie Solanas pops Jared Harris’s Andy Warhol.

The Big Lebowski. Directed by the Cohn Brothers
A performance artist (Marianne Moore) gives ‘tude to The Dude.

Lust for Life. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, George Cukor
Who looks like Vincent Van Gogh? Kirk Douglas. And Paul Gauguin? That’d be Anthony Quinn.

Vincent & Theo. Directed by Robert Altman, Greg Carson
Through thick (mainly thick) and thin, Tim Roth and someone called Paul Rhys, are the Van Gogh brothers