Friday, March 22, 2013

When art goes to the movies

Another movie featuring an art heist is about to hit New Zealand, this time from Danny Boyle. Trance starts with a painting being snatched mid-auction and hidden away somewhere. Its hiding place is the question that drives the rest of the story.
The nicked work looks like the Goya's Witches in the air that is (in the real world) safely on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Boyle probably picked this painting because it shows a typical Goya character with his head wrapped in a sheet  to block out the obscene sight of witches dining (you have to figure Magritte probably saw this painting too). Anyway, the blindfold is a neat metaphor for the amnesia that propels the thieves to hire a hypnotist to prize the whereabouts of the painting out of the recalcitrant mind of one of the gang. It’s that sort of film. You can watch the trailer and pretty much the whole of the heist stuff here.
Images: Top Goya Vuelo de brujos (Witches in the air) 1797-98. Lower, the auction room heist and removing the painting from the frame shot in the storerooms of the V&A. Click on images to enlarge.