20 March 2007

Art Goes to the Movies

And now, a brief, sorta-break from Women's History Month to bring you a divergence (in which women outnumber men 3-2, if that matters).

I've written about movies and art once before. It was boring, so don't bother clicking the link. Don't bother re-reading it. It was about movies that have art crammed into the background. For my second swing at the Art in Movies theme, I've decided to respond to Modern Art Notes' request for bloggers to list their five top paintings that would make a good movie all on their own. I was intrigued, but not entirely by paintings. Here are my painted-and-not selections:

1. Jeff Wall’s 1978 Destroyed Room
It's the prefect candidate for a mystery. I blogged all about it here. Some third party person could stumble on the room and try to figure out who it belonged to, why it was destroyed, and attempt to put things right. Or it could be like Suz's room meet's Groundhog's Day, where the main character works all day to tidy the room and despite all their heroic efforts they wake up the next day and the room is a disaster again. I'd like to see Jennifer Hudson play the owner of the room in either case.

2. Any one of Louise Bourgeois's Spiders (1999-2001, I think?)
The biggest of these creations are huge (30' high) sculptures designed for public spaces. They stand on spindly legs and look positively menacing, and yet Bourgeois has named them things like 'Maman', mommy in her native French. The spiders have been on a bit of a world-tour, Russia, Japan, UK, Canada, and they are totally terrifying. But I imagine a movie in which they are benevolent, as Bourgeois intends them to be, only in CGI rather than steel. HUGE terrifying-yet-benign spiders take up residence in major metropolitan centers. Conflict over what to do about them (ie. how to co-exist with them if at all) will be the movie's central theme. Disaster movies need Tommy Lee Jones, so he could be the mayor or something. And the Spiders will need a human advocate--that could be Julian Moore.

3. Adélaïde Labille-Guiard's 1799 Dublin-Tornelle
The painting itself is almost too boring, but the story behind it is nothing if not dynamic. The movie could trace the material reality of the painting. I would have the movie start in the 1950s when the debate over authorship began, and the movie could showcase the two women who have been given credit for it. This picture would be like the diamond necklace in the Titanic--central to a story that explains why it matters so much.

4. James Ensor's 1889 Christ's Entry into Brussels
Not only is this painting packed with people, details, life, all perfectly setting the stage--the painting asks the impossible. Imagine if Jesus appeared in your city, right NOW. Ensor's Christ is absolutely LOST in the crowd. You'd hardly know he was there at all but for the title. I imagine a movie of this painting going something like a cross between Dostoyevsky's hypothetical appearance of Jesus in the Brother's Karamazov and the recent movie Lady in the Water. I have no suggestions for who should play Jesus or any other role in this movie. No idea.

5. Ann Hamilton's 1993 Torpos
It seems like a long time ago that I referenced this installation, but it was just so good, and like Ensor's painting, Hamilton was able to really create a feeling, an atmosphere in this project. She clouded the windows, raked the floor, covered it in horse hair, and then in the middle of all that methodically had book after book slowly, and deliberately burned as it was being read. It makes me think of the never ending story, where the pages suddenly go blank. Tropos allows a more educated, adult contemplation of the 'nothing'.

1 comment:

Dad said...

So, when does your movie studio begin production?