Art Movies that Had a Profound Impact on My Life
Films (movies) are one of my favorite art forms – besides music and visual art of course – that I could never get tired of. Some of the biggest moments in life were highlighted by movies and I can’t even imagine how my life would look like if I never experienced the excitement of art cinematography.
Being a huge old movies lover, I find a lot of joy in researching and hunting for obscure gems and it’s no surprise how happy I am when I find a movie (or series) about artists, or related to art. Hence why I put together this list to hopefully inspire other artists who share my passion along the way.
1. Loving Vincent (2017)
“Loving Vincent” is one of those masterpieces which had such an impact on me, that even years and months after viewing it, I still vividly remember all the details and the incredible soundtrack (music is written by Clint Mansell). After watching it, I simply wasn’t the same person anymore, and from that moment on something inside me was irremediably shifted.
The film follows the story of Vincent‘s life and his tragic death seen through the eyes of the people who encountered him during his times.
What is unique about this movie is that it took six years to complete, as every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil painting hand painted by 125 professional oil-painters who traveled from all across Europe to the Loving Vincent studios in Poland and Greece to be a part of the production.
The story of Dorota Kobiela, painter and director of the movie, is also incredibly heartfelt:
“I was 30 when I came up with the idea to do Loving Vincent, around the same age that Vincent was when he started painting,” she says. “More than his paintings, which I love, it was the example of how Vincent lived his life that inspired me.”
“I have battled with depression all my life, and I was inspired by how strong Vincent was in picking himself up from similarly terrible life setbacks as a young man in his twenties, and finding, through art, a way to bring beauty to the world. His letters helped me at a low point in my life, and inspired me to make this film.”
2. At Eternity's Gate (2018)
Another movie dedicated to Van Gogh’s life is “At Eternity’s Gate” – this time presenting the world as seen through the eyes of the sensitive artist.
Sprinkled with moments of sublime contemplation of beauty, and glued by the whimsical snapshots of landscape hinting at the spiritual connection Van Gogh had with nature – the movie is a slow unfolding of the rich inner world of the artist in a stark contrast against the backdrop of its austere outer existence.
3. Renoir (2012)
“Renoir” is one of those luminous movies which simply transports one to a place of dreamy happiness, where time stands still and each moment remains eternal – similar to how the artist captured the light in his paintings.
The scenic scenes are so memorable because they offer an escape from any kind of turmoil or ugliness of the world. It’s a reminder that there is always a place of shelter for the ones who appreciate the wonders and magic of the world.
4. Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
Almost two decades after this movie has been released, it still holds up in artistry of imagery, as many of the film’s frames resemble or reenact the paintings of Johannes Vermeer.
The story imagines the steps that led the famous painter to create the masterpiece “The Girl With a Pearl Earring”, and it’s a great look into the times and how even through deep struggle, the artist has created something truly immortal.
5. Goya's Ghosts (2006)
Directed by Miloš Forman who also directed the movie Amadeus, “Goya’s Ghosts” is an indulgent and dramatic depiction of Romantic painter Francisco de Goya’s role in Spain’s history during the rise of the Inquisition’s brutality.
The most heartbreaking part of the movie is the slow and bleak downfall of Ines, one of Goya’s painting muses.
Other notable movies great for a cozy evening are:
- “Cezanne et Moi” (2016) – which explores the friendship between post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne and writer Émile Zola
- “Mr. Turner” (2014) – a movie about the artist J. M. W. Turner and the perceived (at the time) eccentricity of his life and work, also fighting the stereotype that all artists lacked praised and support, which simply isn’t true
- “Butterflies are Free” (1972) – even though this one is not about a visual artist, it’s a very touching story of a blind musician who escapes the overbearing fate and control of his mother and his environment, while discovering his strength and talents next to a free spirited actress
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