Sunday, October 7, 2012

Film Inspiration

I was thinking about movies that inspire creativity. Why? Sag Harbor was bustling this weekend with visitors attending the Hamptons International Film Festival.  Lines were forming in front of the Sag Harbor cinema for the 1:30 showing of The Sapphires.
I walked through town past the American Hotel and wondered if any visiting film celebrities were in residence. No paparazzi in sight.

The Bay Street Theater had a line forming for Conversations with Alan Cumming.  It would have been wonderful to see him, but errands and the last swim of the season were calling. Love you Alan, next time.

Being around all of this film hoopla did get me thinking about some of the wonderful inspiring films about art and artists.  There could be a film festival devoted to them. Considering the special events this past summer for Jackson Pollock's centenary, I was surprised that the Hamptons film festival didn't replay Pollock (2000), a favorite filmed in the Hamptons and New York City. A recent  Pollock mention here. Ed Harris plays the role of Jackson and Marcia Gay Harden is his artist wife Lee Krasner. Val Kilmer plays DeKooning and Amy Madigan is the incredible Peggy Guggenheim.
Basquiat (1996) captures the excitement of the NYC art scene in the 1980s. Jeffrey Wright plays Jean-Michael Basquiat, David Bowie has the role of Andy Warhol. Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Benicio del Toro and Gary Oldman also star. It was the first feature film by Julian Schnabel. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall on that set!

No art film festival would be complete without the classic film The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) based on the Irving Stone's historical novel of the life of Michelangelo.

 Lust for Life (1956) stars Kirk Douglas as the tortured, brilliant Vincent van Gogh.
The French (subtitled) film Artemisia (1997) is about the Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Valentina Cervi stars as Artemisia. I love the scene of early painting en plein air at the beach.
Salma Hayek sports the signature unibrow in Frida (2002). Alfred Molina plays her artist husband Diego Rivera. Julie Taymor's film about Frida Kahlo won 2 Academy Awards and was nominated for four more. Alfred Molina also played another famous artist on the stage: Mark Rothko in the play Red.
The BBC produced a mini series called The Impressionists (2006). 
It is available here.
These films are some of my favorites. Have I missed some of yours?
Let me know!
Local news:  Dan's

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