Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Artist Biography Films

Over the past few days I have been catching up on some of the films I have wanted to see for awhile. I am not sure if it is a coincidence or I just happened to be in the mood for artist biography films, but that is what I watched. Gustav Klimt is one of my favourite artists so I don't know why it has taken me so long to see this bio pic. "Klimt" stars John Malkovich in the title role, which gives a clue as to the type of film it is -- enigmatic, hard to follow, interesting...I love films about artists so I cannot be an objective critic here as I love seeing the necessary bits of painting as the artist is at work and reproductions of paintings like the one below, Two Women Friends, which was destroyed in a fire in the 1940s.


Klimt's drawings are always amazing.



Egon Schiele, Klimt's protegé and friend, was portrayed in the film by Nikolai Kinski. I cannot help being an admirer of Schiele's drawings. Below is a portrait of Klimt by Schiele. There is a fantastic scene in the film where Klimt and Schiele are in a café and take turns working on a drawing, just as something artists might do while having a coffee...


I read an interview with Michael Douglas when "Behind the Candelabra" was at Cannes last year and this film was put on my "to see" list. Douglas really was Liberace and the film co-starred Matt Damon. It is a fabulous film, fabulously and sympathetically presented, and the actors showed a real relationship between the older, eccentric Liberace and the younger, romantic lover. As a child I loved watching Liberace specials on TV because he was so entertaining and this film shows how he was so well loved by his audiences.


The third artist film that I watched recently was "Pollock" with the wonderful Ed Harris playing the artist and Marcia Gay Harden also doing an amazing interpretation of Pollock's wife, fellow painter Lee Krasner. The scenes of both Pollock and Krasner painting really got my heart beating!