Something we have featured over the years on OTN has been artists as the subject matter of in feature films and art works as props and dressing for them (Search tag ART IN THE MOVIES). That has drawn us, like lemmings to a cliff, to look at movies directed by artists. New Zealand’s primo example is Leon Narbey who was a practising artist (he created Real Time the visual extravaganza that was the Govett-Brewster's opening exhibition in 1970) before he directed a number of feature films including Illustrious Energy as well as being the cinematographer on many more.
Looking beyond NZ it turns out that there are a number of artists who have had a turn in the director’s chair. Many of the movies (well the ones we could come up with) were made comparatively recently. So we have made recent history (Warhol and beyond) the catchment pool and let earlier artist-directors like Jean Cocteau and his movie The Blood of a Poet from 1930 fall away in the wake.
It's tricky to work out when in fact Warhol made his first feature. Was it the six hour long Sleep or do you hang out for the 70 minute long Harlot, his first production with synchronous sound? We opted for Chelsea Girls shot in 1966, even if Paul Morrissey did get to share the director’s credits.
Others on our list so far are:
Peter Greenaway The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)
David Salle Search and Destroy (1995)
Julian Schnabel Basquiat (1996)
Cindy Sherman Office Killer (1997)
Douglas Gordon Zidane (2006)
Steve McQueen Hunger (2008)
Sam Taylor-Wood Nowhere Boy (2009)
Shirin Neshat Women Without Men (2009)
Banksy Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
Send it your nominations and we will add them to the list