How Famous Paintings Inspired Cinematic Shots in the Films of Tarantino, Gilliam, Hitchcock & More: A Big Supercut

It’s no acci­dent that one of the best-known series of cin­e­ma-ana­lyz­ing video essays bears the title Every Frame a Paint­ing. When describ­ing the height of film’s visu­al poten­tial, we often draw metaphors from art his­to­ry, but the rela­tion­ship also goes in anoth­er direc­tion: more often than we might think, the film­mak­ers and their col­lab­o­ra­tors looked to the can­vas­es of the mas­ters for inspi­ra­tion in the first place. In this tril­o­gy of short video essays, “Film Meets Art,” “Film Meets Art II,” and “Film Meets Art III,” Vugar Efen­di high­lights some of the most strik­ing paint­ings-turned-shots in the work of, among oth­er auteurs, Alfred Hitch­cock, Ter­ry Gilliam, Quentin Taran­ti­no, and Paul Thomas Ander­son.

Efen­di, writes Slate’s Made­line Raynor in a post on the sec­ond install­ment, “places shots from films side by side with the paint­ings that inspired them. And once you see the pair­ings, you won’t be able to unsee them. Some of these are unmis­tak­able ref­er­ences — like Jean-Luc Godard­’s ode to Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres — while oth­ers are more sub­tle.

Film­mak­ers have been recre­at­ing paint­ings since the days of silent film: the video’s ear­li­est exam­ple is 1927’s Metrop­o­lis.” More recent instances include Alex Colville’s To Prince Edward Island in Wes Ander­son­’s Moon­rise King­dom, and Thomas Gains­bor­ough’s The Blue Boy in Quentin Taran­ti­no’s Djan­go Unchained. While per­haps too obvi­ous for inclu­sion into these essays, Wim Wen­ders once sat­i­rized this process with a movie-with­in-a-movie recre­ation of Edward Hop­per’s Nighthawks in The End of Vio­lence.

Which painters do film­mak­ers most often turn to for mate­r­i­al? Efendi’s visu­al essays show us a fair few mem­o­rable and var­ied uses of Hop­per, whose paint­ings pos­sess a cin­e­mat­ic atmos­phere of their own, and also Magritte, pos­si­bly because his dream­like sen­si­bil­i­ty aligns well with that of cin­e­ma itself: L’empire des lumières in William Fried­kin’s The Exor­cistLa Robe du soir in Bar­ry Jenk­ins’ Moon­light (win­ner of last year’s Best Pic­ture Oscar), and Archi­tec­ture au clair de Lune in Peter Weir’s The Tru­man Show. Weir’s work makes anoth­er appear­ance in the essays in the form of Pic­nic at Hang­ing Rock, a haunt­ing film based on a haunt­ing nov­el writ­ten in part out of fas­ci­na­tion with a haunt­ing paint­ing, William Ford’s At the Hang­ing Rock — whose imagery then made it back into the screen adap­ta­tion. It seems that art, be it on can­vas, film, or some medi­um yet unimag­ined, tells the sto­ry of civ­i­liza­tion in more ways than one.

via Slate and h/t Natal­ie

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How Film­mak­ers Tell Their Sto­ries: Three Insight­ful Video Essays Demys­ti­fy the Craft of Edit­ing, Com­po­si­tion & Col­or

Watch the Trail­er for a “Ful­ly Paint­ed” Van Gogh Film: Fea­tures 12 Oil Paint­ings Per Sec­ond by 100+ Painters

Guer­ni­ca: Alain Resnais’ Haunt­ing Film on Picasso’s Paint­ing & the Crimes of the Span­ish Civ­il War

Icon­ic Artists at Work: Watch Rare Videos of Picas­so, Matisse, Kandin­sky, Renoir, Mon­et and More

Every Frame a Paint­ing Explains the Film­mak­ing Tech­niques of Mar­tin Scors­ese, Jack­ie Chan, and Even Michael Bay

100,000 Free Art His­to­ry Texts Now Avail­able Online Thanks to the Get­ty Research Por­tal

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.


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