Friday, December 04, 2009

A Bob each way

One of the strangest appearances of art in a movie surely took place in Vanilla Sky directed by Cameron Crowe. Ok, the fact that Monet’s The Seine at Argenteuil turns up in Tom Cruise’s pad isn’t so remarkable (the title of the film is based on the colouring of the sky in this kind of Monet painting), and Van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypresses in the living room must be on loan from the National Gallery in London (oh the power of the rich), but casting Robert Rauschenberg as the hard-nosed father is something else altogether. Rauschenberg doesn’t personally appear (not in real time anyway), but he does have the movie listed as one of his movie credits. Confused?

The thing is Robert Rauschenberg appears as himself, but a young self. Crowe uses vintage sixties film of the artist and intercuts it into the film as flash-backs of Tom’s Dad. Other art? There’s a giant Chuck Close-like (sorry Chuck) painting of Rauschenberg that pops up in the living room and, curiously, a painting by Joni Mitchell.

Images: Top, Robert Rauschenberg in the flesh as Tom’s dad, on the cover of Dad’s book and on display in the house. Bottom left, Van Gogh in the living room, right, Cruise and Cruz peruse the Monet.